Out of all your household appliances, your hot water heater is the biggest hog. In fact, almost 20% of the energy used in our homes comes from our hot water heater. There are a number of reasons for this, besides the fact that we constantly rely on your hot water heating to keep our showers and baths nice and warm, our dishes clean and our laundry washed. However, there are a number of ways to reduce hot water usage in your home so that you can reduce your carbon footprint and potentially save thousands of dollars per year in energy costs. Here are 5 ways to reduce your hot water usage at home.
- Did you know that for each ten degree increment you turn down your thermostat you could save about 10% on your energy bill? One of the biggest reasons why our hot water heater is such an energy hog is because of the residual energy loss it takes to reheat the water after it has cooled down. Yet if you set your thermostat at about 120 degrees as opposed to 140 degrees, you have effectively saved up to 20% in energy savings.
- Use less water. Did you know that a typical nuclear family of 5 using the water on a regular basis for a week amounts to the same water consumed as drinking water for a single individual for five years? This amounts to almost a thousand gallons of water per week – most of those gallons are simply wasted. If you have a large family or you want to save on the amount of water that you use while showering, it is recommended to use a water saving shower head, which can save you up to 30% in energy savings on your next utility bill.
- Clean out your water tank every six months. That’s right – you can drain your water tank. What can happen is that dirt, grime and sediment can start to build up in your water tanks. By clearing it out you will not only effectively remove the grime, but also your water heater won’t have to work so hard to heat up your H2O. You can learn how to drain your water tank by carefully reading the instructions on your specific unit.
- Insulate your pipes. Insulating the pipes that transfer hot water throughout your home can save you almost 4% in energy, because the longer your hot water has to travel, the faster it will lose heat, and the longer you will have to run the water before it’s warm enough to jump in the shower. It is probably a pretty general consensus that most people don’t enjoy cold showers – installing insulation to your pipes is incredibly affordable and easy.
- Insulate your tank. Another option to keep your hot water tank running efficiently – so that you don’t have to constantly run the hot water – is to insulate the whole tank. Think of it like getting your hot water tank a sweater or a jacket – the more hot water and energy you can keep in the tank the more you will save money and reduce your carbon footprint.