Sometimes it surprises me to see that the most popular pages on the site are the ones about solar water heaters and tankless water heaters. But considering that water heating can account for around 12% of a family’s utility bill—the biggest chunk after space heating and cooling—it really shouldn’t be that surprising that you want to know how to heat your water more efficiently.
Obviously, not everyone is in a position to go out and buy a new water heater, but we can all do something to use less water and save on our bills.
Whether you’re looking for no-cost habit changes, low-cost purchases or improvements, or large investments like new water heaters or appliances, there’s something here for you:
- Take short showers instead of baths. Of course, your savings here depends on your and your family’s habits. A long, hot shower may use a lot more hot water than a bath where the tub isn’t filled to the brim. But even a bath with only a few inches of water can use a heck of a lot of water if you have one of those HUGE jetted bathtubs! A warm bath is a nice luxury, but for daily bathing stick with a short shower. And if you can stand it, you might even try turning off the water while soaping up, shampooing, or shaving!
- Reduce your time in the shower. I know I sometimes spend too long in the shower because I’m just too cold to get out! This is anecdotal, but keeping the bathroom door tightly closed seems to keep the air much warmer; just run the fan to take care of the steam. Having a big towel and big fluffy robe nearby also helps!
- Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120°F; for every 10ºF reduction in temperature, you can save from 3%–5% on your water heating costs. Learn more about lowering your water heating temperature.
Read more at energy.gov