The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that heating water is the third largest energy consumer in your home, following heating and cooling costs. Saving hot water is something that’s easy to do, and it will lower your overall utility bills, since you’ll be using less.
1. Use less
- Only use hot water to do the laundry when it’s absolutely necessary. Today’s detergents work well with warm or cold water. If you use hot water for sanitizing your clothing, consider pre-spotting it with hydrogen peroxide instead to kill germs and bacteria.
- Fill the dishwasher before you run it and resist the temptation to put larger pots and pans inside that take up a lot of space. Most dishwashers use the same amount of hot water regardless of the load size.
- Fix all the leaky hot water faucets in your home. Those drips may not seem like much, but over time, the amount they waste can be substantial.
- Change your shower head to a low-flow device and don’t run the hot water while shaving.
2. Go tankless
If your current storage water tank is on its last legs, look into replacing it with a tankless system. Saving hot water is easy with these because they heat the water instantly. You won’t be reheating water hour after hour, as storage tanks do because of standby losses. The DOE estimates that households with a storage water heater who use 41 gallons a day or less can reduce their water heating costs as much as 34 percent by going tankless. With their storage water heater, they’re paying to heat water, even though they may be trying to use less hot water. With the tankless system, they only pay to heat the water that they use.
3. Recirculate it
Install a pump that recirculates the hot water throughout your home. As the water sits in the pipes, it loses its heat. A recirculating pump stops those losses by recirculating the water continuously. If your home is large or you have bathrooms that are far from the water tank, a recirculating pump will save water-heating costs and reduce the amount you send down the drain.
If you would like more information about saving hot water, contact Roth Heating & Cooling. We’ve provided quality HVAC and plumbing services for the greater Portland area since 1976.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about saving hot water and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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