Hot Water

Energy Right

Shopping for a new water heater? Make sure you find an energy efficient, Energy Star product. By choosing an Energy Star product a single family of four can save as much as $3,400 over the lifetime of the product via their electric bill. Look for new technologies such as heat recovery units, heat pump water heaters and tankless units that offer dramatic savings over standard electric water heaters.

Down the drain. It's a great idea to drain a gallon of water through the valve at the bottom of your water heater once a year. Draining removes the sediment that collects in the bottom of your tank. If left unattended, the sediment can cause leaks to develop.

Why are you heating that water? If your house is going to be empty for an extended length of time, turn your water heater off. After all, why should you spend money heating water that no one will use?

Install low-flow shower heads. You can reduce your water use by 50%. And, you probably won't even notice the difference.

Energy Wrong

Bare pipes around your water heater. Bare pipes around your water heater are a bad idea. Wrap and insulate the pipes so you have less heat loss from the water heater to your shower, dishwasher, or washing machine. Older water heaters can be wrapped with a blanket kit of insulation sold at home improvement stores. Most new water heaters are already properly insulated and need no additional wrap.

Rinsing your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Actually, this just wastes your time, water, and energy. Modern dishwashers don't need the extra rinse.

The hotter, the better. Not necessarily. Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees. You'll save the money and lower the risk of scalding yourself or your children.

It's only a drip, right? Wrong. One drip per second can add up to 200 gallons per month. So, fixing that leaky faucet is definitely worth it, especially if it's a hot water tap.