Are you looking for easy ways to lower your monthly energy bill? We know most people are. You might be surprised to learn that, according to Energy Star®, water heating typically accounts for about 18% of your total energy bill. It’s the second largest energy expense after heating and cooling. With some slight adjustments to your hot water usage, you might be able to find significant savings on your energy bill. Here are some simple tips to help you cut down on the amount of hot water you use every day.
1. Use Less Hot Water
Seems like a simple solution, right? However, think about how much hot water you use each day and whether hot water is necessary for that task. For example, consider washing your laundry in cold water rather than hot. Any time you can use the cold side of a faucet instead of the hot, you’ll reduce the amount of water you need to heat and save energy.
2. Install Low-Flow Faucets and Shower Heads
Are you allowing energy dollars to flow down the drain by using old, inefficient fixtures? Consider updating old faucets and shower heads with updated, low-flow models, which can help reduce your demand for hot water.
3. Upgrade to an Energy Efficient Water Heater
There are a variety of energy efficient water heaters available today. If your current water heater is more than eight years old, it may be operating less efficiently than a new tank. Depending on your home’s specific needs, a new water heater may help to improve efficiency. Perhaps you can consider a tankless or heat pump water heater, which operate more efficiently than traditional water heaters. Don’t forget to explore your options when replacing your water heater.
4. Purchase Energy Star Appliances
Any time you’re buying a new appliance, be sure to look for the Energy Star® certified logo. Whether it’s a water heater, dishwasher, washing machine, or some other appliance, an Energy Star certified model can operate much more efficiently than a non-certified product. This will help you reduce the energy used to heat water, and therefore save money throughout the life the appliance.
5. Turn Down the Thermostat on your Water Heater
Water heaters have thermostats that allow you to set the temperature the water is heated to. Many water heater manufacturers set their default temperature at 140°F. Meanwhile, Energy.gov recommends that most households usually only require a temperature of 120°F. Lowering the setting to this will reduce stand-by and demand heat loss, and can lead to noticeable energy savings.
6. Fix Leaks Fast
Don’t avoid plumbing repairs, just because they might appear small. According to Energy.gov, a leak of one drip per second wastes 1,661 gallons of water and cost up to $35 per year! If you ever notice a leak, make sure to schedule a plumbing repair.
Being mindful of you hot water usage is the first step towards helping you find ways to make efficiency improvements. A few small changes can significantly increase your water heating efficiency and help save you money on your energy bills.