Most of us tend to take hot water for granted. It flows freely from our taps, allowing us to bathe, wash our clothes, and do other household chores without really even thinking about how much hot water we’re using. It may come as a surprise, then, to learn that hot water usage is the second-largest energy expense in the average home. Hot water typically accounts for 18 percent of the utility bill houses in the United States. How can you reduce the amount of hot water you’re using, saving money and energy? We have a few simple tips.
- Just use less. This may seem obvious, but the best way to save hot water is to use less of it. Wash most laundry in cold water, and consider a low-flow showerhead. Showerheads that were made before 1992 use as much as 6-10 gallons of water per minute, but current models only use about 2.2 gallons per minute.
- Check for leaks. A leaking water heater needs to be replaced. If your faucets are leaking, though, you can and should repair them. Do it as soon as possible, because a leaky faucet can waste several thousands of gallons of water in a year.
- Update your appliances. Energy Star® appliances can make a big difference in your water consumption, reducing the water you use to wash dishes and clothes by as much as 50 percent.
- Tuck in your water heater. Insulating your water heater reduces heat loss and keeps the unit from turning on too frequently. Don’t cover the thermostat, burner, and the top and the bottom of the tank, but do insulate the first 5-10 feet of pipes leading from the water heater. This will raise the hot water temperature at your tap by 2-4 degrees, allowing you to use less hot water.
- Use a timer. Traditional water heater tanks run all the time, wasting energy. When you install a timer, you can turn your heater off at night and save energy.
- Turn it down. Manufacturers often set water heater thermostats at 140 degrees, when the typical household only needs 120-degree water.
- Consider going tankless. Tankless water heaters supply hot water on demand, saving water and energy.
At Albert Nahman Plumbing and Heating, we are passionate in our pursuit of safety, professionalism, and excellence in caring for our customers, co-workers, and community. That’s why this family-owned business has been around for 30 years, consistently delivering the customer satisfaction that’s earned us our superb reputation. A full-service plumbing company, we provide a wide range of services which include expert repairs to existing plumbing, water, gas, and sewage systems, copper piping, water main replacements, trenchless sewer replacements, and water heater installations. We also provide renovation services for kitchens, baths, and laundry rooms, to update the design or upgrade the energy efficiency. Contact us through our website or call (510) 876-9725 for more information on all we can do for you.