You may not think about it, but every time you use hot water in your home, youre also using energy. After all, that water has to be heated by something, which usually means your electric or natural gas water heater has to go to work. Water and energy use in your home is so interconnected that if you’re looking to cut energy costs, decreasing your water use may be one of the easiest ways.
Every time you use hot water in your home for things like showers, laundry and dish washing you also use electricity or natural gas. In fact, water heating is the second largest energy expense in your home, accounting for about 18 percent of your utility bill.
Average Hot Water Use
Heres a breakdown of the use of hot water in an average U.S. home:
|Shower||10 gallons per day|
|Clothes washer||7 gallons per day|
|Dishwasher||6 gallons per day|
|Kitchen faucet||2 gallons per minute|
|Bathroom faucet||.05 gallons per minute|
|Total Daily Average||64 Gallons|
Water (and Energy) Saving Tips
There are plenty of ways to cut back on the amount of hot water (and energy) that you use, and increase the efficiency of heating your water:
|Improvement||Average Water Heating Savings|
|Install low-flow showerheads and aerators in your kitchen and bathroom faucets||25 to 60 percent (and about 7,800 gallons of water per year)|
|Repair leaks||Variable, but a leak of one drip per second can cost $1 per month in hot water costs|
|Upgrade to an energy-efficient dishwasher||About 50 percent over older models (an additional 7 percent energy savings can be gained by using a no-heat drying cycle)|
|Wash clothes with cold water||Variable, but since 85 to 90 percent of the energy used to wash clothes is spent heating water, the savings can really add up|
|Set back the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F||From 3 to 5 percent for each 10 degree reduction in water temperature|
|Install a heat recovery system||Variable, depending on how its used|
|Install a whole-home tankless water heater||About 30 percent each month, compared with gas water heaters (more when compared with electric water heaters)|
|Install a solar water heater||Variable, depending on several factors|
|Install heat traps on your water heater tank||About $15$30 off water heating costs each month|
|Insulate your water heater tank||If your tanks R-value is less than R-24, about 4 to 9 percent|
Flex Your Power, Showerheads.
U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Install Heat Traps on a Water Heater Tank for Energy Savings.
U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Insulate Your Water Heater Tank for Energy Savings.
U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Lower Water Heating Temperature for Energy Savings.
U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Reduce Hot Water Use for Energy Savings.
U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Tips: Water Heating.