Getting The Most Out Of Your Hot Water
Even as the season heats up and we begin to move into Summer, hot water is still a very important commodity that we often take for granted. And now that we’ve seen a price hike in natural gas, it’s more important than ever that we take advantage of some helpful ways to conserve our hot water and get better use out of our boiler.
Find Out Where Your Water Waste is
You’d be surprised that the majority of daily hot water use comes from your shower, not your major appliances like washers or dishwashers. For a single use, the average amount of hot water consumed is somewhere in the range of 10 gallons.
While we can’t always sacrifice our laundry or dishwashing needs, we can reduce the length of our showers. We recommend that you limit your showers to a maximum of 7 minutes per day. This can lower the amount of water used by up to 30 gallons per week on average.
Upgrade Your Water Heater
Technology gets better every day, and new energy efficient heater models like EnergyStar-approved heaters can increase the output of your hot water heater by between 1 and 2 degrees Fahrenheit while reducing the amount of energy used to heat hot water by 10% – 20% depending on how old your current model is.
The average hot water tank has a life expectancy of about 15 years for good use. If your heater is approaching this date, or in many cases has well exceeded this date: it may be time for an upgrade. In particular, Tankless Water Heaters can provide hotter water without using natural gas resources to maintain ambient heat.
Fix Leaky Faucets, Install New Ones
Aerating showerheads, kitchen faucets, and bathroom faucets reduce the amount of water passing through a faucet at any given time, which in turn can let you use your water for longer without using nearly as much energy. These eco-friendly faucets can cost as little as $30 or so, depending on the make and model, and can be installed by yourself in as little as half an hour.
Have Water Heater and Pipes Insulated
Even with the newest hot water boilers, there’s really no reason not to have your home heating appliances properly insulated. Typically these should be done by a professional, but exposed pipes in your basement can be insulated with materials costing as little as five dollars.
These prevent ambient heat loss from causing your heater and pipes to “cool” when not in use, and ensure that the temperature you’ve set your thermostat is maintained with minimal gas usage.
Get an Energy Assessment for Your Home
You can’t be expected to target every single area of your home for improvement by yourself. There’s hundreds of factors that affect the quality and efficiency of your hot water system, so a professional assessment may be necessary if you have little experience assessing it yourself. A professional can point out where your heat is being wasted, and what steps you can take to make sure you get IN hot water without paying too much for it.