A hot shower is a great way to relax and refresh and can be a real comfort in the cold weather. However, when you consider the costs of this luxury you may start looking for new indulgences. Instead of giving up your reliance on hot water, follow these tips for ways to conserve energy when heating your water, to save on your energy bills, and look after the environment.
1 Turn the water heater on only when needed
It will cost you nothing to go and flip the switch on when you need hot water, and off again when you don’t, because the heater remains on (and consuming energy), even when you’re not using the hot water.
2 Stick to showers
As long as you don’t stand under the shower for hours at a time, a shower will use less water – and therefore need to heat less hot water – than filling a bath.
3 Use the shower closest to the water heater
If you have more than one bathroom in your home it is likely the water will have to travel a further distance to one of your showers. Therefore, using the shower closer to the water heater means the water has a shorter distance to travel and will lose less heat in getting to you – this means you can use less hot water, because the water you are getting is hotter.
4 Only use hot water when necessary
When you rinse your dishes or wash your hands, you don’t need to be using hot water, as cold will work just as well, and doesn’t use any energy.
5 Turn down the shower temperature
If you can go without the steam facial, then you don’t need to have a super hot shower – you can use less hot water and have a warm shower to save energy.
6 Have a cold shower
Perhaps not an option in winter, but a cold shower is refreshing in summer, and if you’re not going to miss having a hot shower, why not take the opportunity to conserve energy?
7 Turn the water heater down when on holiday
If you are going away and no one will be in your house, turn the temperature setting on your water heater right down. You won’t need the water to be heating while you’re away, and if you have a natural gas water heater you can turn the heater right down to the pilot light to save energy.
8 Wear your pyjamas more than once
If you do your washing in warm water, consider what you are washing – how dirty do your PJs really get that you need to change them every night? The less washing you have to do, the less hot water you will need to heat.
9 Have shorter showers
Shortening your showers will use less water, and in turn less hot water needs to be heated, conserving energy.
10 Share showers
If you have a husband, wife or partner then you’re obviously happy with them, so why not conserve energy by cutting down the number of showers your household takes by sharing a shower?
11 Turn off the tap when shaving
If you use hot water when you shave that’s fine, but there is no reason to leave the water running while you shave – fill up the basin and then turn off the tap to conserve energy.
12 Turn off the tap when washing
If you are washing dishes by hand, when you are not filling the sink or rinsing the dishes, turn off the tap and save water.
13 Don’t supersize your hot water heater
A larger hot water heater will use more energy to heat up the water, therefore, if you’re living in a household with two adults why choose a family sized heater?
14 Use a lower temperature of hot water
Turning your hot water heater down a couple of degrees will mean you use less energy when heating your water, and just a small change is likely to go unnoticed.
15 Low-flow shower head
If there is less water coming through the shower head, then less hot water needs to be heated – conserving energy.
16 Insulate the hot water heater
If the base temperature of the water in your hot water tank is warmer, it doesn’t have to work as hard, or use as much energy, to heat your water. It is easy enough to wrap your hot water tank with insulation.
17 Insulate your hot water pipes
If the water is hotter when it arrives at the tap or shower, you will need to use less, so insulate your hot water pipes so the water loses less heat in transit.
18 Time your showers
It is easy to lose track of time when you’re relaxing in a steamy shower so while you go into the bathroom with the intention of having a short shower, are you really? Set a timer for each shower and see how much time you really need to get clean.
19 Repair leaking taps
If your hot water taps are leaking have them repaired straight away because while you can catch and reuse the water leaking from a tap, if it’s hot water, you’ve already paid to heat it, for it to just leak out and all that heat to go to waste.
20 Use a front loading washing machine
Front loading machines use less hot water than top loaders and when you are doing a load with hot or warm water, you will need less energy to heat that smaller amount of water.
21 Use a pool cover
If you have a pool then you are paying to heat the water, so make sure when you’re not using the pool, the cover is on to not only save on water evaporation, but also to keep in the heat.
22 Position your pool in full sun
If you’re yet to install your pool, see whether you can position it in full sun in your backyard. This will mean your water heater doesn’t have to work as hard to heat the water, and can conserve energy.
23 Trap the heat in your hot water tank
Some hot water tanks will allow you to place a heat trap on top to keep the heat in the water, rather than letting the heat escape and using more energy to reheat the water.
24 Use a tankless hot water system
These hot water systems heat the water only when it is in use as it runs through the system to be heated, before heading into the taps to be used. Therefore, you’re not paying to heat your water when you don’t need any.
25 Upgrade your hot water tank
An old hot water heater can be costing you money as it is doing an inefficient job of heating your water. New hot water heaters are very energy efficient and after the initial investment will save you money.
26 Use a timer for the hot water heater
Most homes use their peak amounts of hot water in the mornings and evenings. Therefore, instead of having to remember to turn the hot water heater on and off to save energy when you’re not using it, set a timer to turn the heater off over night, and back on again in time for the morning rush.
27 Solar hot water system
Solar hot water systems can be a significant investment, but over time they are going to save you energy. Using energy from the sun to heat your water you are choosing the environmentally friendly option so you can feel good about your choice for the planet too – just keep in mind many solar hot water systems require a tankless system as back up, which can potentially increase the cost.
When a little commonsense and forward planning can help you conserve energy when heating your water, why wouldn’t you make the change? Not only will you be saving money on your next bill, but you’ll also be helping reduce your impact on the environment.
Author Bio: Fred Schebesta writes about saving money at Savings Account Finder.