How to Cut Water Heating Costs

You may think that the only way to cut hot water usage is to use less hot water, but there are other ways to save money and energy. Although heating and cooling the air in our homes takes up most of our home’s energy costs, second on the list is hot water heating.

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Water heating accounts for roughly 20-25% of our home energy consumption. Learn how to reduce your water heating costs with these 3 energy saving tips:

1. Lower Your Water Heater Temperature

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Source: The Family Handyman

Most water heaters are automatically set to 140 degrees, which is often way too hot for most uses. Thousands of people go to the hospital every year from water water burns. Not only is it dangerous, but it is also inefficient to have the temperature set that high.

Most plumbers recommend a setting of 120 degrees, but you should experiment with the temperature to get it exactly where you want it; hot enough, but not too hot that it causes burns.

If your water heater does not have temperature numbers on the dial, you may have to do a little testing. First, test the temperature of your hot water by filling a glass with hot water and measuring it with a thermometer. Keep adjusting the dial until you get a glass filled with 120 degree water.

2. Install Low-Flow Plumbing Fixtures

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Source: truevalueprojects

You can always save water and money by simply using less water, especially hot water, but you can continue to spend the same amount of time in the shower and still save on hot water costs by installing low-flow fixtures.

It is cheap to replace your fixtures with low-flow options and can reduce your hot water consumption anywhere from 25-60%!

Don’t worry about performance, because while low-flow fixtures can reduce the rate of flow by 50% or more, you still feel as though you are getting the same amount of water as before.

Contact Larry & Sons for more information on low–flow faucets, fixtures, and toilets.

3. Insulate Your Pipes (Maybe Your Tank Too)

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Source: DIY Network

A lot of heat is lost through your pipes. Insulating your hot water pipes save you money on costly heat loss, but while you’re at it, you might as well insulate those cold water pipes to prevent dripping condensation.

Although there are several types of insulation to choose from, we recommend Tubular Sleeve Insulation.

If your pipes require more than one sleeve, make sure that you duct tape the seams that connect the two sleeves.

For more ways to save on your water heating bill, read energy.gov’s 15 Ways to Save On Your Water Heating Bill.


If you need help changing your hot water heater setting, insulating your plumbing, or installing low-flow fixtures in Maryland, give Larry & Sons a call at 301-733-5428.

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to schedule your annual heating tune-up. We offer installation, maintenance and repair of boilers, furnaces, heat pumps, and geothermal systems.

With our maintenance plan, we’ll remind you of your annual tune-up, provide 15 % off all repairs, and much more!

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Save Water and Go Green for Spring

When it comes to implementing eco-friendly solutions in your home, the word intimidating is more than likely coming to mind. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. You may be thinking, “Where do I even start? Isn’t it more expensive?”

Save Water, Save Money

But the amazing thing about going green is that the opportunities are endless. Whether it’s using natural air fresheners, homemade soaps and detergents, conserving water, recycling paper and plastic or installing low-flow shower-heads, every little bit makes a difference and you can start right now. Even though it might not seem like you play a significant part in the green movement, you do and your influence does as well.

How to Save Water at Home

Let’s tackle the first question, “Where do I even start?” If you feel overwhelmed, start out small. As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” so don’t stress out. Begin by adjusting your routines. For starters, unless you’re washing towels or items that need are in need of serious disinfection, switch the washer knob to “cold.” See, this isn’t so bad! We’re just going to continue easing you into this.

 

What else can you do in your laundry room to save money and conserve water, you ask?

  • Wait until your hamper is completely full to wash a load. Just because your washing machine has “small” as a load option doesn’t mean you should use it.
  • Jeans that have been worn a couple of times or a shirt that is worn once don’t need to be thrown in the hamper just yet.
    • Sheets, every 5 to 7 days
    • Jeans, every 4 to 5 wears
    • Bras, every 3 to 4 wears
    • Pillows, every 3 to 6 months
  • Inspect the water fixtures connected to your washing machine for leaks. If there’s moisture, you more than likely have a leak.
  • When replacing your washing machine, look at Energy Star and other high-efficiency models. Depending on the model you have, you could save up to 20 gallons of water per load!

 

Let’s shift our attention to the bathroom.

  • Are you guilty of running the sink while brushing your teeth? We aren’t judging, but if you do turn the water off, you’ll save 4.5 gallons each time! Think about it. If you brush your teeth twice a day, that’s nine gallons a day. Now, who else in your family does the same thing? Make it a goal for everyone in your household to turn the sink off.
  • Test your toilet for leaks by adding a couple drops of food coloring into the tank. Once you place the drops in the tank, don’t flush. If the dye appears in the bowl, you have a leak. If you don’t know the first thing about fixing a leak, read our blog for How to Fix a Toilet Leak. If you are still having difficulties, give Larry & Sons a call – (301)733-5428. We’ll be more than happy to address the issue!
  • If you shorten your shower by even just a couple minutes, you’ll conserve up to 150 gallons per month! Now add that to each family member.
  • Keep a bucket under the faucet and use it to water your plants.
  • Choose low-flow shower-heads. In just a few short years, the gallons per minute (GPM) standards have changed. A standard shower-head from two years ago would have had a 5-8 GMP while today’s have a 1.5 or below rating.

For ways to make your kitchen Green and energy-efficient, see our blog, Energy-Efficient Kitchen Tips.

See, a majority of the things listed above require simply altering your daily routines. For beginners, we believe this is a good place to start. Water is such a critical component of our society and is necessary for sustainment. Let’s conserve and be smart wherever we can.

For a comprehensive list of things you can do inside and outside your home to save water, money, and the environment, see this list of 100 Ways to Conserve Water.

how to read water meter to save waterOne of the biggest sources of home water waste is water leaks in and around your home. You can find out how to read your water meter to determine if you have a leak from smarthomewaterguide.org.

Essentially, to save water and money, you should:

  • switch to energy-saving appliances and plumbing fixtures
  • repair leaks in and around the home
  • practice water-saving behaviors

 

For more ways to save water, give Larry & Sons a call at 301-733-5428.


If you are still having trouble finding or repairing your water leaks, or need help finding/reading your water mete, give Larry & Sons a call at 301-733-5428. We’d be more than happy to help!

Check out our maintenance plan; we provide annual HVAC tune-ups, 15 % off all repairs, and much more!

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more useful information and how-to’s.