The Department of Energy estimates that water heating costs are responsible for about 18 percent of a household’s yearly energy consumption. Consequently, your determination to save money on energy costs should include strategies to reduce your hot water usage and water-related energy consumption.
If you implement the recommendations listed below, you’ll be rewarded with a lower utility bill each month—and possibly a dramatically lower utility bill, depending on how wasteful you’ve been up to now.
Without further ado, here are 13 ways you can save money on your water heating costs …
#1 Reduce your shower time
For every minute you spend in the shower, you’ll use about five gallons of water. If you cut your average shower time from 10 to five minutes each day, you could save 175 gallons of water and 35 minutes of energy or fuel consumption per week.
#2 Lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees
A 10-degree Fahrenheit reduction in water heater temperature will cut that appliance’s power usage by 3-5 percent each time it is activated.
#3 Never let the water run unnecessarily
Letting the hot water run continuously when you’re washing hands, doing the dishes or shaving could add a few dollars to your energy costs each year. Since you probably do this without thinking, it should be an easy adjustment to make now that you’re aware of the problem.
#4 Use cold water to do your laundry
Cold water will do the job just as well as hot water in most instances. You should always make sure to use cold water during the rinse cycle, and over the course of a year this action alone could reduce your hot water usage by a couple of percentage points.
#5 Learn to use your dishwasher more efficiently
People tend to use their dishwashers too often or casually. To reduce unnecessary energy consumption, you should only wash dishes when the dishwasher is full. You should choose shorter cycles as well, which will be more than long enough to get your dishes clean if you rinse them thoroughly with cold water before putting them in the dishwasher.
#6 Fix leaky faucets
Did you know that a hot water faucet leaking at a rate of one drop per second could cost you an extra $1 in energy charges each month? Over the course of a single year that adds up to 3,153 gallons of wasted water, plus several hours of excess energy usage.
#7 Install low-flow fixtures
Water faucets and showerheads that are more than 25 years old are a great deal less efficient that current models. A good-quality low-flow showerhead can cut your rates of water usage in half, without impacting your comfort level.
#8 Ask a contractor to install heat traps on your water heater tank
The Department of Energy reports that heat traps on hot water outlet pipes and cold water inlet pipes can save you up to $30 per year on energy. Most modern water heaters already have these traps installed, so you likely won’t have to do this unless your heater has been in place for a decade or more.
#9 Insulate your water heater’s storage tank
To find out whether your storage tank needs more insulation, check its R-value (a measurement of insulating capacities) in your water heater owner’s manual. If its less than R-24 you should install in insulation blanket, being careful not to cover the thermostat on electric water heaters or the top, bottom, thermostat or burner compartment on gas water heaters. If you feel uncomfortable doing this, you can ask your water heating contractor to come and do it for you. As a physical test, you can put your hands on the outside of your water heater tank, and if it feels warm it needs more insulation.
#10 Insulate the first few feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater
What this does is raise the temperature of the water in the pipes, possibly by as much as 2-4 degrees Fahrenheit. This eases your water heater’s workload and gives you the option of lowering its temperature settings a bit below that 120-degree standard.
#11 Install a timer on your electric water heater
A timer will reduce energy consumption by shutting down the heating unit when you’re at work or sleeping and have no need for on-demand hot water. If you live in an area that charges higher electricity rates during certain hours, you can program the timer to shut the heater down during those times, too.
#12 Look for the Energy Star label
The Energy Star label on a dishwasher or washing machine guarantees energy-efficient performance, in comparison to appliances from 15-20 years ago that were tilted more toward the energy-hog side. Appliances that earn this designation will be accompanied by a yellow Energy Guide sticker, which reveals how many kilowatt-hours of energy that appliance will consume each year (based on typical levels of usage) and how much that energy will cost.
#13 Consider replacing your current water heater with a more efficient appliance
Energy-efficient water heaters are now standard, with Energy Star labels and yellow Energy Guide stickers attached to verify their excellence. While a good-quality tanked model could represent a drastic improvement over your old water heater, the best way to save money on water heating is to switch to a tankless water heater. These appliances deliver hot water strictly on demand, eliminating all excess heating costs associated with tank technology.
Rheem Pro Partner Knows Water Heaters
Want to reduce your water heating bills? Then you should contact us today, because Rheem Pro Partners offers a full-line of energy-efficient water heaters plus professional and affordable installation services. We have multiple tanked and tankless options to show you, all accompanied by warranties on tanks, parts and labor. These superbly-crafted and exquisitely-designed water heaters will reduce your energy bills from the day they’re first installed, proving once again that you can’t go wrong in Colorado and Wyoming when you come to Rheem Pro Partner for assistance.