5 Ways to Reduce Hot Water Energy Consumption
Hot water is something we often take for granted and only appreciate when it’s gone, whether the hot water heater broke or the utilities are unavailable. Hot water is also a major contributor to our energy bills, especially during the colder months. Here are five things everybody can do to reduce hot water energy consumption.
Check the Hot Water Heater
Hot water storage systems like hot water tanks use a thermostat to maintain the temperature. You can obviously save money on energy costs if you turn down the thermostat. In some cases, the thermostat might be malfunctioning. The unit thinks the water isn’t hot enough, so the heating elements are over-heating the water. This certainly wastes energy. If the hot water system’s heating elements are always on, this could be due to a number of issues. If you think that’s the case, then you should consider getting the heater repaired or replaced.
This could be the perfect time to consider other options that would be less taxing energy-wise. Continuous flow systems, for instance, don’t require that you constantly heat a hot water tank. Instead, you only heat the water that you need when you need it. Retailers like 1st Choice Hot Water have tons of different models available if you think they would be a good option for you.
Top Off Your Heat Exchanger System
Heat exchanger hot water systems aren’t commonly available for purchase today, but they are still operating in many homes. These systems run the cold water supply through an insulated tank of hot water. The water in the insulated tank evaporates. The tank needs to be “topped off” every few months to maintain the ideal water level.
Have Water Leaks Fixed
Water leaks waste both water and the energy used to heat it. Have faulty units repaired or replaced, since you’re wasting water and energy when the systems are releasing steam or leaking water. If the casing is swelling up, call for service to have it fixed or replaced before it suffers a catastrophic failure. Rusting systems should be checked since rusting metal can create points for hot water to leak out. Have your hot water system regularly serviced.
Turn It Off
Turning off the hot water heater before you go on a trip is probably the last thing on your mind. However, if you’re going to be gone for a few days, you should probably turn off the hot water. It could save you several dollars a week if not more. Note that the hot water needs to be at least 60 degrees C to get rid pathogens like Legionella, so if you turn it off, wait at least an hour after you turn it on before you take a hot shower.
Use Less Hot Water
An obvious way to save energy is to use less hot water. For example, if you have older plumbing, consider switching out the shower head to one that gives you a good spray without using as much water.
Hot water heating can account for up to a third of the average home’s energy usage. Just taking a few of the steps we’ve recommended could save you significant money on your monthly energy bills.