Making the most of your hot water systems can make a big dent in your monthly energy bill as well as have a positive impact on the planet. It’s easier than you think–with just a few simple changes to your lifestyle and water heating equipment, you can make your household energy efficient in a matter of weeks. Try a few of these tips for yourself.
Tweak Your Habits
Try picking up one or two of these habits and see what a difference it can make on your hot water systems.
Use Appliances Efficiently
Dishwashers can be one major culprit when it comes to overusing hot water. To use your dishwasher efficiently, be sure to only run it when you have a full load. This applies to your clothes washer too.
Don’t Let Water Run
Rather than washing dishes under a continually running stream, try stopping-up your sink and soaking them in soapy water. Also, don’t forget to turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. Little changes like this can make all the difference.
Use Cold Water When You Can
While a cold water shower might not sound appealing, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of your clothes washer’s cold water setting. In general, it’s a good idea to choose cold water for tasks like cooking, cleaning, and other household tasks.
Take Short Showers
Whether you’re someone who prefers a 15-minute of 30-minute shower, there’s always room to shave off a minute or two from your routine. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference it can make without much effort or sacrifice.
Maintain Your Equipment
Hot water systems function best when they’re well maintained. Make sure to give them a careful inspection regularly, or call a professional.
Aside from wasting water, a leaky faucet can disturb your peace and quiet or keep you awake at night. Usually, they can be fixed quickly and inexpensively, so don’t hesitate to give them the maintenance they need.
Check the Temperature of Your Water Heater
Sometimes, energy savings can be as simple as the turn of a dial. Take a look at the temperature of your hot water heater, and try turning it down to 49 degrees celsius. This should still be warm enough for piping-hot shower water, while still letting yous save on your monthly heating bill.
Drain the Sediment From Your Tank
Did you know that hot water tanks build up sediment over time? To keep them working at their peak, remember to drain the sediment once every six months. There are plenty of video tutorials online that can show you how to complete the job in as little as 15 minutes. Of course, when in doubt, call a professional.
Consider a Repair or Replacement
Have you noticed your energy bill higher than usual, while water temperatures are lower than average or inconsistent? The average hot water heater has a lifespan of 8 to 10 years, so if you have had yours for more than five years, it may be in need of repairs.
Upgrade Energy Efficiency
Upgrades to your hot water systems can be as small as a bit of insulation, or as big as a brand new hot water heater. Decide for yourself which is the best investment.
Try Low-Flow Fixtures
You can find a variety of low-flow water fixtures for your shower and sink at your local hardware or kitchen remodeling store. With a small investment and a simple installation, they can cut down on your hot water spending by as much as 60%!
One of the most cost-effective ways of upgrading your hot water systems is insulating your pipes. With just a few meters of store-bought insulation and an hour’s worth of installation, you can cut down on your bill significantly. You can also insulate your water storage tank, just be sure not to cover the thermostat!
Upgrade your Hot Water Tank
There are a few ways anyone can upgrade their hot water tank to make it more energy-efficient. You can find a timer for your hot water heater, which lowers the temperature during the night when it’s not in use and raises it again by morning. Heat traps are another good option, though you may need the help of a qualified professional to install them properly.
Find an Energy Efficient Appliances
If your dishwasher or clothes washer are reaching the end of their lifespan, consider an energy-efficient appliance when looking for a replacement. If you’re not sure what to look for, appliances that are energy-star certified are always good picks. While you may pay a bit extra up-front, you will quickly make up the cost in monthly savings.
Get a New Hot Water Heater
If your hot water heater is more than 8 years old, there’s a good chance it’s time to replace it. One of the leading culprits of inefficient hot water usage is an out-of-date heater. Just like when selecting a new appliance, be sure to give energy-efficient models a close look, as these will be your best bet toward long-term savings.
Take Advantage of Government Rebates
Did you know that there are a number of government rebates available to Australian citizens designed to make energy-efficient upgrades to your hot water systems accessible? Take a look for yourself and see if your family qualifies for up to $1,000 in savings.
Call a Professional
If you’ve tried the above tips and are still looking for more ways to cut down on your monthly energy bill, the best place to turn is a qualified hot water systems specialist. Often, home services companies will offer a free inspection that can inform you of needed maintenance, repairs, or other ways to make your system more efficient.