Heating water accounts for a significant portion of your energy bill. Fortunately, there are several ways you can optimize your hot water usage to save money and energy. Here are some tips to help you become more energy-efficient while still having access to hot water when you need it.
Install Low-Cost/No-Cost Fixes
- Lower the Temperature
Lower the temperature of your hot water heater. Most hot water heaters are preset to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but lowering the temperature to 120 degrees or below can save you anywhere between 6 to 10 percent on your energy bill. Lowering the temperature of your water heater will also reduce the risk of scalding.
- Use Less Hot Water
By taking shorter showers and using less hot water while washing dishes, you can reduce the amount of hot water your home uses. It’s also a good idea to invest in low-flow showerheads and faucets that use less water.
- Insulate Your Water Heater
Insulating your water heater with a blanket can save you anywhere from 4 to 9 percent on your energy bill. Most water heaters lose heat, even when they’re not in use. Insulating your water heater will reduce this heat loss, allowing you to save money on your energy bill.
Upgrade Your Fixtures
- Install High-Efficiency Fixtures
Installing high-efficiency showerheads and faucets can save you up to 60 percent on your hot water use. Low-flow fixtures use less water, but they also create a stronger spray by adding air to the water. This means you can use less water without sacrificing water pressure or comfort.
- Upgrade to a Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters are highly energy-efficient. Unlike traditional water heaters, tankless models only heat water as it’s used, which means they don’t waste energy by storing hot water all day. Tankless models can also last up to 20 years, up to twice as long as traditional water heaters.
Optimize Your Hot Water Usage
- Use Cold Water for Laundry
Using cold water to wash your clothes can save you up to 90 percent on your laundry-related energy cost. Most of the energy used in washing clothes comes from heating the water. By using cold water, you’ll still get clean clothes without using hot water.
- Fill Up the Dishwasher
Don’t run your dishwasher until it’s full. Running a half-full dishwasher uses the same amount of hot water and energy as running a full load, which means you’re wasting money by running it too soon.
By following these tips, you’ll be optimizing your hot water usage and saving money on your energy bill. Keep in mind that while some of these tips might require an initial investment, the long-term savings will more than make up for it. Start saving energy and money today.