- Repair leaky faucets promptly; a leaky faucet will waste gallons of water in a very short period.
- Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank and pipes, but be careful not to cover the thermostat.
- Insulate your gas or oil hot-water storage tank and pipes, but be careful not to cover the water heater’s top, bottom, thermostat, or burner compartment; when in doubt, get professional help.
- Install non-aerating low-flow faucets and showerheads.
- Buy a new water heater. While it may cost more initially than a standard water heater, the energy savings will continue during the lifetime of the appliance.
- Although most water heaters last 10-15 years, it’s best to start shopping for a new one if yours is more than 7 years old. Doing some research before your heater fails will enable you to select one that most appropriately meets your needs.
- Lower the thermostat on your water heater; water heaters sometimes come from the factory with high temperature settings, but a setting of 115°F to 120°F provides comfortable hot water for most uses.
- Drain a quart of water from your water tank every 3 months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater. The type of water tank you have determines the steps to take, so follow the manufacturer’s advice.
- If you heat with electricity and live in a warm and sunny climate, consider installing a solar water heater. The solar units are environmentally friendly and can now be installed on your roof to blend with the architecture of your house.
- Take more showers than baths. Bathing uses the most hot water in the average household. You use 15-25 gallons of hot water for a bath, but less than 10 gallons during a 5-minute shower.
- Wash Your Clothes for Less. About 25% of all household hot water is used for washing clothes. Use cold water washing wherever possible. And always set your washer to rinse with cold water. Cold water rinsing can save you enough energy for about 100 hot baths or 220 showers per year. When you do use hot water washing, be sure to set the water level to match the load.
- Read the instructions for your dishwasher to make sure you’re taking advantage of all its energy-saving features. For easy-to-clean loads, use the light or short cycle. Use the no-heat or energy-saving drying cycle for further savings. If you don’t have that feature, open the dishwasher door when the wash cycle is complete and let the dishes air-dry. And always, try to wait until the dishwasher is full before you run it.
Average Hot Water Usage
Faucets and appliances can use a lot of hot water, which costs you money. Look for ways to heat your water more efficiently and use less.
Gallons per Use
|Kitchen faucet flow||2 per minute|
|Bathroom faucet flow||.05 per minute|
|Total daily average||64|
Source: Federal Energy Management Program Energy Cost Calculator, March 2010