Heating water for domestic purposes – showers, laundry, dishes, and the rest – accounts for 12% to 26% of a home’s energy use. That’s between $240 and $520 for an average US household. But you can put your hot water system on an energy diet without sacrificing comfort. The 6 strategies below range widely in cost and complexity but all will reduce your energy bills and your carbon footprint.
#1 – Insulate Your Water Tank
If your water storage tank was made before 2004 there is a very strong possibility you are throwing money down the drain in standby heat losses.
Insulating an older water tank can reduce standby heat loss by up to 45 percent!
#2 – Insulate Your Homes Hot Water Pipes
It is a fact that every inch of bare hot water pipe running through your home is costing you money. As hot water is transported through through bare pipes there is significant heat loss which translates into wasted energy and dollars.
#3 – Find and Repair Leaks and Drips
Leaky faucets can be a pain and in a lot of cases just ignored. However, if your leaky faucet happens to be on the hot water side you could be throwing dollars down the drain every day.
Good news is most leaks are easily handled by homeowners and translate into immediate savings.
#4 – Add a Thermal Expansion Tank
When the water inside your water tank is heated it actually expands. When there is no expansion tank the water can leak out of the tanks pressure valve or cause a leak in your piping or worse case actually ruin the tank.
The easy solution is to install a Thermal Expansion Tank.They are fairly easy to install and will literally protect your entire hot water system.
#5 – Add a Gravity-Fed Recirculation System
A typical household can waste up to 11,000 gallons of water each and every year waiting for hot water to make the trip from the water tank to the shower or sink.
Recirculation systems use a pump and are capable of deliver instant hot water to everyone, eliminating the wait.
#6 – Throw Your Old Tank Away and Try Newer Technology
Install a newer more efficient tank. Current models are a lot safer and come with better insulation which makes them cheaper to run.
Try a Tankless System – on demand water systems eliminate the need for a storage tank and deliver heated water as it is needed throughout the house.
Plug into the sun. Of course there is an upfront charge but from that point forward your heated water is basically free. Solar water heating systems routinely deliver savings from 70 to 80 percent.