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!

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

Get an Eco-Friendly Bathroom | Planet-Friendly

More than half of our home’s indoor water consumption happens in the bathroom. Since the average American uses 100 gallons of water every day, that means that we use more than 50 gallons of water in the bathroom (your toilet uses about 27%!). For more stats on indoor water use, see the EPA’s WaterSense page.

Eco-Friendly Bathroom Solutions

But don’t worry! These numbers are steadily decreasing as more and more homeowners are opting for more eco-friendly bathroom designs and plumbing fixtures. We’ve already talked about how you can create a more eco-friendly kitchen, so this time we’re heading into the bathroom.

Eco-Friendly Bathroom Solutions

1. Cut the Flush

For a standard toilet, every flush uses 3.5 to 7 gallons of water! Low-flow toilets, however, us as little as 1.28 gallons. There are also European toilet models that have a dual-flush option – one for liquid waste and the other for solid waste. Some municipalities even offer money-saving rebates on low-flow toilets and other plumbing fixtures.

2. Shower Savings

Your toilet isn’t the only water hog in your bathroom. The next largest water consumer in your home is your shower and bath, which also uses energy to heat up the water. Like your toilet, there are also low-flow showerhead options available to you. These designs use less water without sacrificing water pressure or comfort. Compared to standard showerheads, gauged at 2.5 gallons per minute, low-flow models at 1.6 gpm can cut your annual water use by 20,000 gallons and save you up to 15% on your water heating costs.

3. Frugal Faucets

Although federal plumbing standards require faucet to run at no more than 2.5 gallons per minute, many older homes still have faucet fixtures that flow at 3 to 5 gallons per minute. As with your toilet and shower, you may want to replace faucet fixtures and aerators. If you don’t have an aerator, they are cheap and easy to install yourself. Although you could shell out for those restaurant-style motion sensor faucets, we recommend just being very conscious of when the faucet is running. Turn the tap off while you are washing your face, shaving, and brushing your teeth. Doing this alone could save you over 200 gallons a month (EPA).

4. Bathroom Detailing

Avoid the hormone-disrupting and asthma-inducing effects of a PVC shower curtain by installing planet-friendly glass doors. Make sure that you have enough ventilation in the bathroom to prevent mold and mildew.

To keep even more toxins away as a result of your bathroom cleaning products, install a bath or shower that uses durable acrylic material. With ‘s high quality materials, backed by the Good Housekeeping seal, your days of scrubbing bathrooms are over. And with most remodels completed in just 1 day, you won’t have to live with a messy and stressful bathroom remodel.

5. Piping Problems

If your home was built before 1930, you may have lead pipes which are leaching lead into your water supply. You can test the quality of your water by sending in a sample to a sate-certified lab. Visit the EPA’s State Certification Officers for Drinking Water Laboratories page for more information.

You may also want to consider replacing your piping system if you have polybutylene pipes, leaking pipes, corroded pipes, discolored water, or low water pressure. Call Larry & Sons today to find and detect problems with your pipes and offer budget-friendly options for repair or replacement.

As an exclusive dealer, Larry & Sons Plumbing is committed to achieving eco-friendly bathroom comfort and efficiency.

ECO-FRIENDLY BATHROOM DETAILING

  • Replacement bathtubs and showers
  • Bath and shower wall surrounds
  • Walk-in tubs, step-through inserts, and barrier-free showers
  • Shower doors and rods
  • Bath and shower accessories
  • Large selection of styles and colors
  • Easy to clean and prevents mold and mildew

With the Good Housekeeping Seal, you have nothing to worry about:

For the showstopping, eco-friendly bathroom of your dreams, delivered in just one day (in most cases), call Larry & Sons for your next bathroom remodel.

For more information on easy, 1 day Bathroom Remodels, read our latest blog.

Whatever plumbing installation and replacement project you have in mind, the expert technicians at Larry & Sons can get the job done right.

Don’t forget to check out our maintenance plan; we provide fall and spring HVAC tune-ups, provide 15 % off all repairs, and much more!

Keep in touch with us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more useful information.

Top 10 Green Tips to Save Money and the Planet

Happy Earth Day!

Although every day should be Earth Day, we are celebrating today by recognizing areas in the home for energy-efficient improvements. Since everybody is leading full, busy lives, we wanted to provide practical, actionable advice for creating an energy-efficient home. Don’t delay, go green today!

Top 10 Green Tips for the Home

Top 10 Green Tips to Save Money and the Planet

  1. Schedule your annual HVAC tune-up to ensure you are using the minimum amount of energy to effectively heat and cool your home.
  2. Check your air filters every month. Write the date on the filter itself so you know when you last replaced it. We also recommend setting monthly reminders so you never forget. Replacing dirty air filters will significantly reduce the workload on your HVAC system and improve the quality of your indoor air. It’s a win-win!
  3. Use a programmable thermostat for maximum savings. We recommend setting the thermostat to 78°F while at home and 80°F or higher when away from home. According to energy.gov, raising the thermostat setting in the summer or lowering it in the winter by just 1°F for a period of 8 hours will save you 1% on your energy bill. Those savings add up!
  4. Check your home for air leaks and replace any old weatherstripping and caulking. Don’t forget to seal your air ducts, which lose, on average, about 20% of your home’s conditioned air. You can hold a piece of toilet paper or incense stick around areas where you suspect a leak. Watch this video to learn how to find air leaks and insulate your home:

  • Close drapes and curtains while the sun is out and open some windows at night to take advantage of the cool outside air. Just remember to close them again in the morning! Also, consider purchasing solar screens and insulating drapes for more protection against solar heat gain.
  • Turn down your water heater temperature from the standard 140°F to a more energy-efficient, but still hot enough 120°F. Not only will you save money and energy on water heating costs, but you will also reduce the risk of burns and scalding, especially important in homes with young children. Consider also purchasing water heater insulation blankets for your water heat tank.
  • Cook hot meals at night when the temperatures are lower. Instead of using your oven, consider alternative cooking methods that produce less heat and use less energy like microwaves, toaster ovens, and slow cookers. This is the time to learn about some cooler, plant-based meals that you can enjoy in warmer weather.
  • Make sure your fireplace flue damper is fully closed and sealed unless you have a fire burning. Check the seals around the damper and make any necessary repairs as soon as possible. You don’t want your precious conditioned air escaping out the chimney.
  • Plant trees and shrubs around the perimeter of your home and in front of sun-facing windows to provide energy-saving shade from the sun.
  • Check your water meter for water leaks. The average U.S. home has water leaks that amount to more than 10,000 gallons of wasted water every year. Let’s do our part by fixing those leaks as soon as possible. If you are having trouble detecting or repairing your plumbing leaks, give Larry & Sons a call. We’d be glad to help! Click here to learn how to find and read your water meter for leaks. Click here to learn how to fix a leaking or running toilet.
  • For more Green Tips you can start implementing today to save money and the planet, read our previous posts:

    If you needed any more convincing for taking action this Earth Day, watch Morgan Freeman narrate “What’s Possible,” for the UN Climate Summit:


    For over 55 years, Larry & Sons has been serving your home heating and cooling needs in the great Hagerstown, Maryland area. Contact us for an expert able perform nearly any home service you need. We offer installation, repair, and maintenance of heating, air conditioning, geothermal, solar and indoor air quality systems. We service all makes and models, even if we didn’t install your system to begin with.

    We are also full–service plumbers, offering water heater repair and installation, sewer and drain services and water treatment systems.

    For more information on how to lower your heating bill, give us a call at 301-733-5428. We’d be glad to answer all of your questions.

    To further save and reduce your impact on the environment, we highly recommend signing up for a maintenance plan that ensures 2 annual heating and air conditioning tune-ups, 15 % off all repairs, and much more! Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more useful information and how-to’s.

    Happy Earth Day! It’s Our Turn to Lead!

    Spring Savings: 10 Ways to Save Money & Energy

    Spring has sprung and the weather is definitely warming up. With flowers blooming and the sun out for longer periods, it is the perfect time to go around your home or office and implement some spring saving tips.

    10 Tips & Tricks for Spring Savings

    1. Inspect doors and windows for damage and air leaks. Replace screens and bent frames if necessary. For air leaks smaller than a ¼ inch, use weatherproof caulk. Any gaps or openings larger than a ¼ inch, use expandable foam spray.

    2. Consider purchasing solar screens to block out more of the sun’s rays.

    3. Close your windows during the day and shut the blinds/curtains when the sun is out. Conversely, if the temperature drops at night, consider opening up a few windows to take advantage of nature’s free cooling. Just remember to close them again when you wake up.

    4. If your screens are still functional, but dirty, you can clean them with mild detergent, water, and a soft bristle brush.

    5. Inspect you home for water leaks. You can do this by turning off all water-using appliances and then going to your water meter box to see if the water dial continues to move. The best resource we have found for finding and fixing water leaks is smarthomewaterguide.org. Water meters have a leak detection dial, indicated below:

     Save Money & Energy

    Via horizonutilities

    6. If your water meter indicates a leak, check your toilets, sinks, and outdoor hoses/irrigation for leaks. Learn how to fix a leaking toilet here.

    7. Inspect your basement and crawl spaces for any excessive moisture or mold. Be on the lookout for signs of water and moisture around your home. Mold and mildew causes many health problems and can be very dangerous. If you suspect mold and moisture in your home, call a professional plumber to inspect the situation and recommend solutions. If you suspect an indoor air quality issue, give Larry & Sons a call for your whole-home inspection.

    8. Install a programmable thermostat for maximum savings. You can schedule your HVAC system to turn itself on and off at designated times. Smart thermostats like the Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart and the Nest Learning Thermostat allow you to make thermostat changes from the convenience of your smart phone. Contact Larry & Sons to get a smart thermostat installed today!

    9. Seal you air ducts! Watch this video to learn how. Ironically, don’t use duct tape. Use either mastic sealant or aluminum foil tape.

    If you are in need of duct sealing services, we can help. Larry & Sons has been offering duct sealing services for many years throughout Hagerstown, Frederick, MD, and the surrounding areas. Our technicians are highly trained and we have the most state-of-the-art equipment available.

    10. Schedule you annual air conditioning tune-up! In addition to increased energy efficiency (up to 15%), regular maintenance is usually required to keep your manufacturer’s warranty in effect. In addition to remembering to check and/or change your filter every month, the most important thing a homeowner can do to ensure optimum levels of HVAC efficiency is to schedule annual HVAC maintenance. Call Larry & Sons to schedule your appointment. Sign up for our maintenance plan and you will receive FREE ANNUAL HVAC TUNE-UPS!

    Looking for more ways to save money and energy this spring?

    Spring Savings TipsVia energy.gov

    To learn more about spring savings, schedule a professional home energy audit in Maryland with Larry & Sons  — 301-733-5428.

    We service Hagerstown, Frederick, and the surrounding Maryland areas. We also service parts of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

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