When you think about your monthly energy expenses, your lights and furnace are probably the first things that come to mind. But did you know that water heating typically accounts for 25 percent of your energy consumption? Sure, we want our hot water, but 25 percent of any expense can be a lot. Fortunately, there are easy ways you can pare down your water heating costs without sacrificing your comfort. Here are five cost-saving measures that get results.
- Reduce your hot-water usage: Take shorter showers. Find and fix even the smallest leaks in your hot-water system. Install low-flow showerheads, faucets and other plumbing fixtures.
- Insulate your water heater tank: When hot water sits in the tank after being heated, it slowly loses heat energy. Reduce this standby loss by insulating your water heater tank. Ask your hardware dealer or trusted plumber for a commercially made insulating jacket that fits over the tank. Good insulation at the tank can reduce standby heat loss by as much as 45 percent, cutting water heating costs by up to 9 percent. Be aware, however, that covering some labels on your water heater could invalidate the warranty. Check your user’s manual, or give the contractor who installed your water heater a call.
- Turn down the thermostat: In most cases, water that’s 120 degrees is fine for cooking, cleaning and bathing. Keeping the thermostat at 120 degrees also prevents scalding injuries.
- Insulate your hot-water pipes: By insulating the pipes in your hot-water system, you’ll cut down on heat loss as the water travels from the tank to your bathrooms and kitchen. Look for ready-made pipe insulation that you can easily fit over pipes, or wrap the pipes with standard fiberglass blanket insulation.
- Use cold water whenever possible: Instead of hot or warm water, use cold water for household tasks at every opportunity. If you don’t like the idea of washing your clothes in cold or tepid water for fear of lingering germs, hang your clothes out to dry after you’ve used the washer. The sun will kill the bacteria.
The plumbing industry has changed dramatically since Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing was founded in 1910. And we’ve kept up with all the high-tech solutions that have developed over the years. Contact us for more tips on saving energy. We’re proud to serve homeowners in greater Cincinnati.
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