Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Save Money on Heating Water

How to Save Money on Heating Water

            Did you know that after heating and cooling, water heating is the second largest cost on the average family’s utility bill, accounting for around 12 percent?

            One way to reduce costs is to run out and buy the most energy-efficient water heater on the market. Government regulations require manufacturers to affix labels showing operating costs and power consumption.

For most people, however, that’s not practical. The reality is that people buy water heaters only when absolutely necessary and most of these buying decisions are based almost exclusively on price.

            Short of shelling out big bucks for a top-of-the-line water heater, there are things you can do now to reduce your energy bills, whether you heat water with electricity or gas. Most of them are common sense measures, but worth considering.

Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees or less – a 10 degree (F) reduction in water heater setting can cut 3% - 5% from your bill.

Take short showers instead of baths – it takes a lot of water to fill a bathtub, especially jetted soaking tubs and huge claw-foot tubs.

Insulate you water heater – an insulating blanket helps retain heat, thereby reducing energy consumption. Blankets are made for both gas and electric heaters of various sizes. Be sure to check the “R” rating for maximum benefit.

Laundry – Follow laundering instructions on clothing. Set your washer to use cold water on rinse cycles. Also, many of the newer high-efficiency detergents do a great job with cold water.

Washing dishes – Using a dishwasher consumes less water than washing dishes by hand, especially when you leave the faucet running, and a variety of cycles can save hot water, too. Make sure the dishwasher is full before running it.

Low-flow fixtures – Installing low-flow faucets and showerheads is an obvious and relatively inexpensive way of saving hot water and water in general. Low-flow fixtures can cut water consumption in half and most people don’t notice the reduction because of a more forceful flow.

Check the U.S. Department of Energy’s website,, for additional money and power-saving tips.