Water heaters are the next largest energy consumer in the home after space heating and cooling.
According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, heating water accounts for 19% of your home’s energy consumption, which is about $300-$400 per year.
Whether you’re looking for small no-cost changes, low-cost improvements, or large investments like new water heaters or appliances, here are ways you can save money and energy on your hot water usage:
- Turn down the thermostat. For each 10 degree reduction, save 3-5% operating cost. 120 degrees or lower is considered optimal. 130 degrees recommended to kill bacteria when washing clothes.
- Install dual handled faucets to prevent unintentional hot water consumption.
- Maintain your water heater and flush every six months to help your water heater last longer and work more efficiently.
- Purchase a new water heater if yours is more than 7 years old.
- Wrap water heater with an insulation blanket.
- Set your water heater to vacation mode when you travel.
- Install aerating, low-flow faucets and shower heads.
- Upgrade your dishwasher and washing machine to a newer, more efficient model.
- Repair leaky faucets.
- Insulate the pipes connected to the hot water heater.
- If gas or propane is available, replace your electric water heater with a gas water heater. Heating water with gas costs HALF what you’d expect to pay when heating with electricity.
- Install heat traps on the hot and cold pipes at the water heater to prevent heat loss. Most new water heaters have built-in heat traps.
- Reduce hot water consumption by doing the following:
- Take showers instead of baths
- Take shorter showers
- Wash laundry in cold water
- Wash dishes by hand
- Don’t leave hot water continually running when shaving, washing dishes or washing your hands
- Do not use over-sized bathtubs