Cut Down Wasted Heat in Your Water Heater:
- Make sure to insulate your home’s water heater. If your home still has a tanked water heater, then adding additional insulation would help reduce heat loss from within your unit. We recommend that you always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on insulation, especially when it comes to gas-fed water heaters.
- You may want to insulate your hot water pipes. Naturally if the water sitting inside of your hot water pipes remains warm after you run your tap then you will reduce your water waste and energy when restarting your hot water. In most newer buildings hot water pipes come insulated but that may not be the case in older homes. It could prove difficult to get done alone but it is worth the investment in older homes.
- Turn down your water heater’s temperature setting. By simply turning down your water heater from 140 degrees F to 120 degrees F, you could reduce your energy use by 6-10 percent.
- You may also install “heat traps” or “anti-convection valves” on the hot and cold water connections to your water heater. Installing these could help prevent “thermosiphoning” of heat out of the water heater. Fortunately, some newer models already have these heat traps built-in.
Reduce Hot Water Use:
- Begin by switching out old showerheads with a newer, low-flow model. Expect to spend around $25 for a good model that can still provide a great steady stream for showers but help reduce water wast to as little as 1.6 gallons per minute.
- Be sure to repair any leaky faucets or showerheads.
- Repair aerators on bathroom faucets with products that have flow rates of no more than one gallon per minute.
- We recommend using cold water to wash laundry or at least use the cold-water rinse.
- Reduce your water waste when washing the dishes by scraping off food and not rinsing them beforehand. Most of today’s dishwashers will not require you to rinse off food. If you do need to rinse them use cold water instead of hot water to cut down energy and water waste.
- If you are thinking about replacing any old home appliances, always check to see if the new model is Energy Star certified.