According to the Department of Energy, water heating is the second-largest utility expense in the home, trailing only space heating and cooling. On average, your hot water supply is responsible for about 12% of your monthly energy bill, but you can lower that number by making a few small changes.
Here are five ways you can use less hot water in your home:
1. Turn Down Your Hot Water Tank’s Thermostat.
Most water tanks are set to 140° F, and they maintain this temperature around-the-clock. That takes a lot of energy, especially when you consider that most of us will never need our water to be that hot. Turning the thermostat down to 120° could save you up to 10% on your bill and you won’t even notice the difference.
2. Don’t Pre-Rinse Your Dishes Before Using the Dishwasher.
Many of us will quickly rinse our dishes with warm water before putting them in the dishwasher to be cleaned. If you own a newer dishwasher, you can likely skip this step, as most new appliances are powerful enough to remove grime without the pre-rinse phase. Just scrape leftover food into the trash bin and load the plate into the dishwasher.
3. Make an Effort to Take Shorter Showers.
We all love to take long, hot showers, but taking medium-length, hot showers instead could result in significant energy savings. The average shower uses about five gallons of water per minute – shortening your shower from 10 minutes to 8 could save ten gallons of water per day, or more than 3,500 gallons each year.
4. Use the Cold or Warm Setting on Your Washing Machine.
Except for your special clothing which absolutely must be washed in hot water, use warm or cold water when doing laundry. Hot water should only be used in special circumstances such as greasy clothes, stains, or when you need ultimate germ-killing power – such as washing bed sheets of a sick family member.
5. Buy Energy-Star Appliances
This might not be the most cost-efficient option, but if you are already in need of a new appliance, you should consider buying one which is Energy Star certified. Appliances with this certification have tested by the Department of Energy and have proven to offer significant energy savings. All sorts of appliances can carry the Energy Star tag; including washing machines, hot water heaters, and dishwashers.
Devine Bros. is a leading supplier of heating oil and propane to Norwalk, CT and the surrounding Fairfield County area. For almost 100 years, Connecticut residents have depended on us to keep their homes and water warm. Visit our website to learn more about our services, or give us a call at (203) 866-4421.