Hot Water Use

1. The water heater is the second largest energy consumer in the home and using it efficiently can add up to big savings. For families with an automatic dishwasher, the hot water heater setting can safely be lowered to 130-140 degrees. If the automatic dishwasher has a water temperature booster, the water heater temperature can be set to 110-120 degrees. 

2. If you have a new water heater, drain a few gallons from your tank every six months to remove sediment that accumulates and reduces the heater’s efficiency. If you only use your hot water once or twice a day, you may consider installing a time on your hot water heater and set it up to run two hours in the morning and the evening. 

3. Wrapping a fiberglass blanket around your water heater and securing it with duct tape, or installing a ready-made insulation kit can save up to 10% on water heating costs. Most new water heaters are already insulated, so this tip is most effective for heaters that are more than five years old. 

4. Leaky faucets can add to your hot water bill so repair them as soon as possible. The constant drip wastes water, energy, and money. You can also save by installing an inexpensive “flow control” device in shower heads and faucets. 

5. It pays to operate appliances that use hot water wisely. Running the clothes washer with a full load and using cold water whenever possible can lead to big energy savings. Use detergents that clean clothes effectively in cold water. Rinsing dishes with cold water before loading them into the dishwasher and running the dishwasher only when it’s completely full will also save money.