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Reduce Hot Water Use for Energy Savings

Written by A. Borrelli Mechanical on 01.28.20

Shower Head Cleaning

According to Energy.gov, water heating is the second-largest energy expense in your home and typically accounts for about 18% of your utility bill after heating and cooling.

But there are steps you can take to reduce your hot water usage and heat your water more efficiently.

1) Fix Leaks

Leaking faucets, fixtures and pipes can significantly increase costs related to hot water use. A leak of one drip per second wastes 1,661 gallons of water and can cost you up to $35 per year.

2) Insulate Your Water Heater

Your water heater is still storing hot water even if it isn’t being used. If it is not well insulted, there can be a large amount of standby loss from heat lost while the heater is standing by for use.

Water heater blankets can help you have 4% to 9% of your water heating bill and reduce stand by heat loss by 25% to 50%.

3) Change Showerheads

Select a showered with a flow rate of fewer than 2.2 gallons per minute (gpm) for maximum efficiency. Some showerheads that were installed before 1992 have a flow rate of 5.5 gpm. If your showerhead was installed before 1992, follow these steps to see if you should replace it:

  1. Place a bucket marked with gallon increments under your shower head.
  2. Turn on the shower.
  3. Time how long it takes to reach the 1-gallon mark. If it takes less than 20 seconds, consider switching to a low flow showerhead.

4) Use Energy Star® Dishwasher and Clothes Washer Appliances

The biggest cost of washing clothes and dishes comes from the energy required to heat the water. In fact, a full-sized ENERGY STAR certified clothes washer uses 14 gallons of water per load, compared to the 20 gallons used by a standard machine. That's a savings of more than 2,000 gallons of water per year.

Topics: Plumbing

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