How Can I Conserve Heated Water?
15 Ways to Save on Your Water Heating Bill
Of course, not everyone is in a position to go out and buy a new water heater, but we can all do something to save on our bills and use less energy.
Whether you are searching for no-cost lifestyle changes, low-cost upgrades or enhancements or large investments such as new water heaters or appliances, there is something for you here:
1. Take short showers instead of baths. The savings here, of course, depend on the preferences of your family and yourself. A long, hot shower can make much more use of hot water than a bath where the tub is not filled to the brim. But even a bath with only a few inches of water, if you have one of those Big jetted baths, can use a hell of lots of water! A warm bath is a nice luxury but with a quick shower for everyday bathing. And if you can bear it, you might even try to turn off the water when you are shampooing your hair, shaving or brushing your teeth!
2. Reduce your time in the shower. After a long quick bath, just run the fan to take care of the steam. Having a big towel and big fluffy robe nearby also helps!
3. Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120°F; for every 10ºF reduction in temperature, you can save from 3%–5% on your water heating costs.
4. Don't let the water run. Are you guilty of leaving the water on while you brush your teeth? Or when you step away to grab dirty dishes or find the soap? All those extra minutes will add up to a great deal of wasted water. Only turn it off for a second!
5. Use cold water for most laundry loads, and always use cold water for the rinse cycle.
6. Use your dishwasher efficiently. Wash only full loads, choose shorter wash cycles, and activate the booster heater if your dishwasher has one.
7. Fix leaks. A single drip leak per second will cost $1 a month. That may not sound like much, but this American Water Works Association drip calculator puts it in perspective: at 60 drops per minute, you lose 8.64 gallons per day, 259 gallons per month, and just over 3.153 gallons per year. That is a lot of good, clean water that will just be wasted!
8. Install low-flow fixtures. Federal regulations require low flow rates for the new showerheads and faucets. The pre-1992 showerheads and faucets can use all than twice as much water as the new ones. You will achieve water savings of 25% –60% for a small investment.
9. Install heat traps on your water heater tank. Your water heating bill could save you $15–$30. You may need a professional to help you mount them on your existing tank, but heat traps are included in some new storage water heaters.
10. Insulate your hot-water storage tank. For electric tanks, be careful not to cover the thermostat, and be careful not to cover up the top, bottom, thermostat, or burner compartment for natural gas or oil hot water storage tanks. (So follow the instructions of the manufacturer).
11. Insulate the first few feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater.
12. Install a timer that turns off your electric water heater at night or times when you don't use it. You could also use it to turn off the water heater during your utility's peak demand times.
13. Consider upgrading your clothes washer. ENERGY STAR® says that you could fill three backyard swimming pools with the water you save over the life of a new ENERGY STAR-qualified washer. If you're replacing a washer that's over 10 years old, you can save over $135 per year.
14. Consider purchasing a new water heater. Don't limit yourself to just conventional storage water heaters! There are other efficient options that might be right for you.
15. Consider purchasing an ENERGY STAR-qualified dishwasher that uses 31% less energy and 33% less water.