Your water heater is a tremendous source of energy consumption. Hot water is necessary for showers, dishes, laundry and much more, but heating it can cost a lot of money. And since so many of the things your water heater does are necessary, you can’t exactly cut back, can you? Actually, there are several ways you can cut energy consumption without sacrificing quality of usage.
The simplest way to save hot water energy is just to save hot water in general. The less water you use, the less your water heater has to work to replenish. There are a number of simple ways to reduce your hot water use comfortably.
Repair leaking faucets, pipes, and other fixtures. Leaking faucets waste an inordinate amount of water each month, and it all just goes down the drain.
Install low-flow showerheads and faucets. You’ll save up to 60 percent on your water consumption with the same amount of use.
Use cold or warm water to wash clothes instead of hot. It will get your clothes just as clean, while using less energy.
Buy energy-efficient dishwashers and clothes washers. The Energy Star program identifies the most efficient appliances available; looking for the Energy Star logo when buying a new dishwasher or clothes washer can help you save water, energy and money.
Another way to cut down energy consumption is to turn down the thermostat. Many water heater thermostats are set by the manufacturer at 60 degrees. Not only is this more than is generally necessary, it can also scald you if you aren’t careful. For most household uses, a setting of around 50 degrees is fine, and it can save you up to 10 percent in energy costs. Insulating your pipes can allow you to turn down the thermostat even more. In addition, insulating the water heater tank itself can reduce overall heat loss and cut your energy bill a further nine percent.