Most homeowners don’t fully understand the ongoing cost of their water heater — especially older, less-efficient water heaters.
The reality is, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, (on the ENERGY STAR and Energy.gov websites) your water heater, with typical usage, accounts for 14% to 18% of your energy costs. If your family is prone to using a lot of hot water, that figure could reach 20% to 25% of your monthly energy bill, especially if you use an electric tank-type water heater.
Here are 6 ways to lower your hot water bills:
In 2011, Proctor & Gamble, perhaps the world’s largest laundry detergent manufacturer, teamed up with the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) to promote the energy-efficient concept of washing your clothes with cold water. Why? Because hot water is only of three elements that get clothes clean when washing them, but it is far and away the least energy-efficient and costliest of the three. The other elements are the agitation process and detergent. With the advent of detergents designed specifically for cold-water washing, the need for hot water has been subtracted from the clean-clothes equation. As a result, your hot water bills will be lower.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has created the WaterSense® program, which is an initiative to develop and produce products that save water. Buying low-flow showerheads that earn the right to display the WaterSense badge benefits the environment to a great degree. On a personal money-saving level, “the average family could save 2,900 gallons per year by installing WaterSense labeled showerheads.” The energy-savings on that reduction of hot water usage is “enough to power a house for 13 days.” That means free energy for about two weeks a year!
People rarely fill a tub all the way to the top when they prepare a hot bath, but it is easy to see the potential energy-savings and lower cost when you understand that it takes 70 gallons of water to fill the tub compared to 10 to 25 gallons of water used when you take a five-minute shower. If you have toddlers in your family, the sooner they start taking short showers instead of baths, the sooner you start reducing your hot water bills.
The results are in and they point to the fact that the temperature required for hot water to kill bacteria during hand-washing is so high that you just might scald your hands. According to a Vanderbilt University article about a global warming research study, if you use soap, and properly scrub and dry your hands, they will be clean and you will save lots of energy. Of course, you’ll also reduce your hot water bills by not heating up all of that unnecessary water.
According to Energy.gov, “You can significantly reduce hot water use by simply repairing leaks in fixtures — faucets and showerheads — or pipes. A leak of one drip per second can cost $1 per month.” A
penny dollar saved on your hot water bills is a penny dollar earned.
Even before the new regulations for water heater energy efficiency went into effect earlier this year, tankless water heaters were providing the most energy-efficient method of creating hot water in your home. A condensing tankless water heater from Navien is 99% energy efficient, so it will provide you with decades of long-term savings on your monthly hot water bills.
If you’re ready to immediately start reducing your hot water bills, just follow the first 5 tips above. If you want to reduce your energy bill for the next two or three decades, and receive the many other benefits of a tankless water heater, follow tip #6. To do that, just call us at (317) 248-9668 or send us a message.