For all of the many ways that people try to save money on their utility bills, what can be accomplished by paying better attention to hot water consumption can often be overlooked. Water heating is the second-most common method that your energy is consumed, behind only space heating and cooling. It may be surprising to know that your water heater use accounts for around 12% of your electric bill. If you are trying to save on your utilities, your water heater is a great place to start.
Here are some ways that you can cut down on your electricity bill by reducing your water heater usage in your home.
Baths and Showers
It is generally agreed upon that taking a bath is preferable energy-wise to a shower. This is only the case, however, if you are accustomed to taking long, hot showers. In reality, if you are fine with taking short showers on most days, you will actually use far less hot water than if you were filling up a bathtub. This is especially true for homes that have large, jetted bathtubs.
You can save even more by opting to turn off the hot water after your initial rinse while you soap up and shampoo your hair and then turn the hot water back on for your final rinse. You can also be mindful of how much time you spend in the shower due to it being colder beyond the shower door or curtain. Keeping the door closed to keep the warmth in and keeping the clothes you are changing into within arm’s reach will help with this.
Lower Your Water Temperature
Lower the temperature of your hot water to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Every change of 10 degrees is accountable for around 3-5% of your water heater’s share of the electric bill.
Don’t Just Let the Hot Water Run
Do you have a habit of turning on the hot water while doing the dishes or brushing your teeth, only to leave the room while the water runs and then return to it? Breaking habits like this and remembering to turn off the hot water while you aren’t using it can make a difference in how high your electric bill is every month.
Except for loads where it is absolutely necessary to use hot water, stick to using cold water for your laundry needs. You can also cut down on usage even more by upgrading to an energy-efficient washer that can put a dent in the electricity used for the loads where hot water is a necessity.
If you are someone who runs the dishwasher when there are just a few items in it, stop doing that. Stick to full loads and short wash cycles. You may also consider getting a new energy-efficient dishwasher if you have an older model that is likely to use up a lot of energy to wash your dishes with hot water.
Installing Low-Flow Fixtures
If you have older showerheads and faucets, they could be using up more hot water than is necessary. Faucets and showerheads that date back further than 1992 use over twice as much hot water as modern models. Updating yours to models with low-flow rates can save 25-60% of your hot water consumption, knocking out a serious chunk of your bill.
Heat traps are loops of pipes or valves that are installed on your cold water inlet as well as your hot water outlet pipes. These allow for cold water to flow into the tank while preventing undesirable convection and heated water from flowing out. This serves to reduce the amount of energy that is needed to keep the optimal water temperature maintained. Most modern water heaters have heat traps built in, but if you have an older model that does not, a licensed technician can help with installing them on your tank.
Insulate Your Hot Water Storage Tank
If your hot water storage tank is not insulated, you could be losing a significant amount of heat. This could have you turning your faucet or shower to a level that is higher than it should have to be just to get warm. Having your hot water storage tank insulated can actually reduce your heating loss by 25-45%, which means you would not have to turn the shower handle all the way to the maximum heat to be comfortable. This could save over 15% with your water heating costs.
Installing a Timer
Having a timer installed can be a helpful way to cut down on your hot water usage. You can set it to turn off the hot water at night or during other times when you are unlikely to need it. It can also be helpful in keeping children from unnecessarily using hot water at home while you are at work. You can also set the timer to turn off the hot water heater during peak demand times.
Getting a New Water Heater
If you have an older model of water heater, you may want to consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient one. You do not need to be limited by conventional storage water heaters, either, because there are a variety of options on the market.
Speaking to Our Team About Your Water Heater
If you would like more information on cutting down your electric bill with your current water heater, augmenting it for greater efficiency, or even exploring an energy-efficient, newer model, we are here to help. At Specialty Heating & Cooling LLC, we have been serving the residents of Tigard, OR and the surrounding Portland metro area for over three and a half decades. In that time, we have become trusted enough to earn many referrals from our clients as well as respect in our industry.
We are a family-owned and -operated company that has been awarded the prestigious Carrier’s President Award more often than any other organization in the Northwest. This award is meant to honor organizations that reflect Carrier’s model for business effectiveness, bringing the best in cutting-edge technology and operational excellence to customers. Our company is extremely proud of this honor, and we work hard to meet the responsibility of this recognition with every service call.
Our team is excited to help take you through the ins and outs of saving money with your hot water heater, but the services we can offer do not stop there. We are a diverse organization that specializes in HVAC solutions as well as a full range of heating and cooling systems. This includes installations, repairs, and routine maintenance. We also provide generators and services for commercial properties. We will make sure that all of the work is done right. After all, our motto is “We aren’t comfortable until you are.”
Contact Specialty Heating & Cooling LLC today for help saving money with your water heater, along with any other heating and cooling questions you may have.