There are few things better than hot water, whether it’s for dishwashing, showering or laundry. While it’s a convenience, water heating is the second-largest energy expense in your home after heating and cooling. It typically accounts for about 18 percent of your utility bill.
That’s why, as your savings connection, we’re providing easy ways to keep energy dollars from going down the drain. These tips can also help extend the life of your water heater and prevent scalding accidents.
Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, setting your water heater temperature too high can waste $36 to $61 a year in standby heat losses. The magic 120 number also helps reduce mineral buildup in tanks and pipes. This temperature is safer for your family, too, preventing scalding or burning accidents. Simply unscrew the plate on your water heater that covers the thermostat and manually adjust the setting. The average household uses around 45 gallons of hot water per day. To reduce energy usage and protect against scalding, set your water heater temperature to no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Some installers and builders often think they're doing homeowners a favor by turning up a water heater's temperature (commonly to 140 degrees). But it's not necessary for most households to keep the appliance set to temperatures over 120 degrees.
Opt for short showers. Hot water is money, and every drop you don’t use is money saved. Shorter showers mean less work for your water heater and more hot water for the next person who needs it.
Wash clothes with cold water. Using cold water can cut a load’s energy use by more than half. Still concerned about washing on the cold setting? Newer detergents contain enzymes that work just as well in cold water. Gentler on your clothes, cold water helps protect them from fading, bleeding and shrinking.
Give your water heater a vacation when you take one. Turn off your water heater when no one will be home for an extended period of time, like a vacation. You can simply flip its switch in the breaker box. This gives your unit and your hot water costs a break.
Tap into savings with faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads. When using less water, you’re using less hot water, too. Achieve water savings of 25 to 60 percent by installing low-flow fixtures.
Insulate your hot water pipes. This easy improvement can help save on water heating costs and raise your water temperature 2 to 4 degrees F. You won’t be waiting as long for hot water when you turn on the faucet, either.
Purchase a high-efficiency water heater for long-term savings. Select one that is ENERGY STAR® rated to get the lowest operating cost. Some models can save a household of four around $330 per year in energy costs!
Maintain your water heater today and be thankful tomorrow. Most water heaters can last for a decade or more with proper maintenance and save money in the process. Turn down the temperature dial, test the relief valves and flush the tank twice a year.
Repair leaky faucets promptly. A leaky faucet wastes gallons of water in a short period of time.
By helping you reduce energy use and make your home more energy-efficient, we’re connecting you to savings.
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Replace conventional power strips with advanced power strips to help reduce electricity wasted when electronic devices are idle.