The Family Home Blog

Five Easy Ways to Reduce Hot Water Use and Save Money

Jan 22, 2016
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Melissa Hincha-Ownby

Five Easy Ways to Reduce Hot Water Use and Save Money 

Who doesn’t love a long, hot shower on a cold winter day? Unfortunately that long shower can be expensive. Not only do you have to pay for the amount of water you use, but you also have to pay for the energy to heat up the water. The good news is that there are easy ways to reduce your hot water use and save money in the winter.

1. Cold water wash cycle

Skip the hot water cycle for the majority of your laundry loads and you’ll make a big dent in the amount of hot water you use. According to the Sustainability Department of Boston University, “most of the energy used to wash clothes, around 90%, comes from heating the water.” If you’re concerned that the lack of hot water won’t get your clothes clean, find a cold-water laundry detergent.

2. Shorter showers

The shorter your shower, the less hot water you use. The less hot water your use, the lower your energy bill. While you may not notice an immediate drop in your energy bill the savings from shorter showers will add up over time.

3. Fix those leaky faucets

Leaky faucets are more than just a nuisance; they are a big drain on water resources. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that, “the average household's leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, or the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry.”

4. Hot water heater blanket

Your hot water reduction measures aren’t limited to tasks inside your house; you can also save money by making a few changes to your hot water heater. One of the most economical upgrades is to wrap your hot water heater in a blanket. Check your local hardware supply store for this low cost (around $20) solution to reducing hot water heater-related energy use.

5. Wrap insulation around pipes

In addition to wrapping the hot water heater itself, wrap the pipes that lead up to the heater. Check with the clerk at your favorite hardware supply store for recommendations specific to your region.

What measures have you taken to reduce hot water heater related energy use?

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