How to Efficiently Use Water Heaters and Save Money
Saving Water = Saving Money
Water is essential to every household, with many aspects of your life depending on it. There are two major ways water is costing you money, water heating and water wastage. Both of these can be minimized to make sure that the bill at the end of the month is as small as possible. Not only will you be helping yourself, you will also be actively helping those in your community, especially during times of drought and water restrictions.
One of the largest users of electricity in your house will be your water heater. Water heaters, in most homes, work around the clock keeping hundreds of gallons of water warm, even though only a fraction of that is needed at any specific time. For the majority of families, their house stands empty during the day and no one will be showering at midnight. That leaves only a couple of hours in the morning and the evening when hot water is needed. So, set it on a timer, and save all that wasted energy.
A lot of energy is also lost to the surroundings, so insulating your water heater can prevent this, especially since the temperature of the water is unnecessarily high. No one showers in water that is hotter than 110 degrees, if you set the temperature to a lower setting will save you money with each 10 degrees you decrease it by saving you 3-5% on your electricity bill. Finally, if you need small amounts of hot water for dishes or a similar reason, use a kettle instead.
Millions of gallons are wasted in the United States each year due to poor water usage. Starting in the bathroom, showers are much better than bathing, but not if you spend the whole morning in there, so keep it short (~ 5 min). Running taps are never necessary, if shaving or brushing teeth fill up a rinsing cup and use that instead. If you must run your taps for long periods of time, at least use low-flow rate faucets, which can use up to 50% less water. Just like faucets you can get low-flow rate toilets that use very little water in comparison and if that is out of your price range, a 20-oz. bottle of water in your toilet tank saves you 20-oz. every time you flush.
In the kitchen, the key is maximizing the use of the water. Don’t hand wash dishes, use a dishwasher, especially an energy saver version, because dishwashers have been shown to use considerably less water. Also, only run it when it is full, this likewise applies to your washing machine.
Around the house, make sure that there are no leaky faucets, they can easily cost you a couple of dollars a month. If you can collect the relatively clean water from cooking or waiting for the water to warm up, you can use this to water your plants, and while you are out there you could set up rain water tank for washing your car or other general uses.
Saving water makes sense on an economic, environmental and social level, so there is really no downside to taking some extra time around the house and using some of the techniques mentioned above.