Smart Ways to Save With Your Hot Water Tank

October 9, 2018

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Summer electric bills can strike fear in any Floridian and considering 20% of our energy bill is caused by our water heaters, you can really cut down on the cost of hot water without sacrificing its warmth! While taking a hot bath can be soothing, a shower uses a lot less hot water. By replacing your showerhead with a low-flow, you can cut down the 70 gallons to fill up some bathtubs to 20 gallons for a 10-minute shower. Unless you have a really dirty load, you don’t need hot water to get your clothes clean. Using warm water instead of hot can cut a load’s energy use in half, according to the Department of Energy, and using cool water will save even more. In the kitchen, stop rinsing your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. When you do that, you’re using hot water twice—in the sink and in the dishwasher. Worse, pre-rinsing can cause the sensor in your dishwasher to misread how dirty your dishes are and adjust the settings to a lighter wash than they actually need. And only wash full loads of dishes. You should also avoid using the rinse-hold on your machine for just a few dirty dishes because it uses 3 to 7 gallons of hot water each time. Finally insulate the hot water tank itself. If you have an older water heater and it’s warm to the touch, then you should consider insulating it. That can save you up to 16 percent in water-heating costs every year. Before you get started, check your owner’s manual to see what type of insulation to use and how to wrap the tank. Also, check with your utility—some will install insulation and others offer rebates to homeowners who insulate their hot water tank.

SOURCE: Consumer Reports

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