Give your hot water heater – and your wallet – a break by doing a few things to stop wasting hot water. Get this – 20% of our home energy use goes towards heating water. There are inexpensive ways to start saving energy and water and a few methods that might be worth a bigger investment. Here are Terri’s ‘Top 5 Ways to Stop Wasting Hot Water’ that will definitely make an immediate difference.
1. Water Heater Blanket
The is one of the most inexpensive ways to make your conventional hot water heater run more efficiently. A hot water heater blanket will cost you around $20. It is super easy to put on and it helps keep the water inside the tank warm which means the water heater won’t have to work as hard.
2. Wrap Those Pipes
This is another easy solution for getting more from an inefficient water heater. At every home improvement store, you can find easy-to-install insulation kits for your water pipes. Slip the insulation on and presto – warmer water and instant energy savings!
3. Turn Down The Temp
You can also save money on your water bill each month simply by lowering the thermostat setting on your hot water heater. For every 10 degrees lower, you’ll save up to 5% in energy costs. A setting of 120F degrees is plenty warm enough for use at home.
4. Hot Water Recirculator
I swear by the hot water recirculator I have in my home. There are a number of models to choose from but I recommend one with a timer that you set to turn on during those peak hot water usage times. A hot water recirculator does just that…keeps hot water flowing continuously through your pipes so it’s ready to use when you are. This is a great solution for you if you have to spend time waiting for the hot water to reach the tap. For the average household it adds up to a savings of nearly 20,000 gallons and $200 a year. You can find hot water recirculators in home improvement stores starting around $250.
5. Hybrid or Tankless Water Heaters
This is a bigger investment but one that will certainly pay for itself in a few years. A hybrid water heater will save you several hundred dollars on your utility bills each year and they are up to twice as energy efficient as traditional water heaters. They work by actually absorbing heat from the air and using that heat to warm your water. A tankless model heats the water instantly and only when you need it, thereby reducing the amount of energy you use.
Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, syndicated columnist and author, and founder of DoYourPart, everyday green living ideas that are better for you and the planet. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow DoYourPart on Facebook and Twitter. Terri’s new book “Do Your Part: A practical guide for everyday green living” is now available at zDoYourPart.com.
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