Use of hot water and use of energy closely interlinked with each other. To produce hot water, you need either electricity or gas. So, if you use more hot water, more energy will be required. On the other way, your water company uses power to purify and pumped water at your facility, as well as the energy needed for the treatment of sewerage water. Indirectly, the water and sewage bills are part of your energy bills. So, by saving water, you can reduce your water and energy bills.
We can save our water heating bill by using and wasting less hot water. Water heating bill is the second most significant cost, 14-18% of household utility bills. To conserve hot water, we can install efficient appliances like an energy start water heater, low flow fixtures, efficient dishwasher & clothes washer, Hi-tech shower head, and fix leaks.
To discuss hot water use, we have to know about water heating methods and their cost.
- Traditional Storage Water Heater – using a reservoir to heat water. It is a widely used water heater whose average cost is about $750.
- Tankless Water Heater – heat water based on your demand directly without using a storage tank. It is 8-34%energy efficient than a storage-type water heater. Based on features, the price starts from $100 and goes up to $1500. Installation of these types of water heater is a little technical.
- Heat Pump Water Heater– capture heat from the air and transfer it to the water tank. It can save up to 40% more energy costs than other electric water heaters. However, it is not suitable for a cold-weather environment as it required a 40 to 90 degrees air temperature range to operate. The initial cost is also high range $1500 – $2500.
- Solar Power Water Heater – use the sun to heat the water. This renewable power water heater helps conserve energy more than anything and emit almost zero greenhouse gases. However, the installation and panel cost is high as a range from $3000 to $5000.
- Condensing Water Heater – as like tank type, but it uses exhaust gases that generally go out by the duct. This type of water heater suitable for those who need a large capacity water heater, i.e., more than 55 gallons. Cost varies from approx—$ 500 up to $2000.
After the water heating method, it comes to mind how much energy is required to get hot water.
Though it is challenging to calculate the exact energy consumption to get household hot water, a study shows that an average of 20% of the energy bill or a quarter of fuel bills required to boiling water. Water heater capacity <55 gallons see about 4% boost on its efficiency, while larger water heater capacity above 55 gallons consumed about 25 – 50% of your utility bills based on the technology used.
Are you know the average hot water uses for indoor purposes –
25 gallons per use
10 gallons per use
6 gallons per use
Kitchen faucet flow
2 gallons per minute
2 gallons per minute
If we want to save energy heating to the water, we have to conserve hot water use. By taking the following steps, we may do so.
Table of Contents
Install low flow fixtures
As per Federal Regulations Mandate, the flow rate of new showerheads should not be exceeded 2.5 gallons per minute at the water pressure of 80 psi. By installing low-flow fixtures, you may save up to 25 -60% hot water.
Water-sense leveled showerheads are more efficient than average. There are two basic types.
- Aerator Showerheads – mix air with water, forming a misty spray suitable for the dry climate.
- Laminar-Flow Showerheads – form individual streams of water, suitable for the humid climate.
In above two aerator showerhead save more water than laminar flow; the aerator is more energy efficient.
Take a shower then take a bath always helps to preserve more hot water and save energy. There are three types of shower valves available –
- Electric Showers – produce instant hot water when it passes through it.
- Mixer Showers – draw both hot and cold water and mix them before supply.
- Power Showers – use stored hot water, mix it with cold water, and pumped by an electrically operated pump.
The use of gas instead of electricity is 40% more efficient; based on this theory, the above three category power & mixer shower is more efficient than the electric shower. However, practically electric shower directly heat the water in line, which saves water and energy waste. So from the perspective of saving energy, the electric shower is more efficient.
New faucets are more efficient than older versions. Replacement of old faucets with a new one is not so expensive; you can change by spending $10 – $20. Moreover, it is one of the most effective water conservation measures.
As per the US Department of Energy, the new kitchen faucet restricts flow rates up to 2.2 GPM, and the modern bathroom faucet restricts flow rates to 1.5 – 0.5 GPM.
We usually think that washing dishes by hand is more energy-saving than using appliances. However, if we wash dishes several times a day, it will cost more than using a dishwasher. By proper use of a dishwasher, we can save water and energy.
There are two types of dishwashers – compact and standard. Tactically it seems that the compact design dishwasher is more energy-efficient. However, the capacity of a small dishwasher is less than standard, causes of this it needs to use more frequently than standard. More use means more water and energy cost. On the other hand, the standard dishwasher will save your water bills if you use it with a full load.
A dishwasher with booster features saves more energy than the normal one. It boosts the water temperature to 140° F internally required for optimum use. The initial investment for the dishwasher with a temperature boost-up feature is high, but in the long run, it is energy efficient and returns your value within one year.
A shorter cycle dishwasher is another efficient feature. The dishwasher with a shorter cycle required less water than other models, thus saving energy.
Moreover, you may save 31% energy and 33% water by choosing an energy star dishwasher during the purchase.
Among other indoor activities, a significant amount of hot water is required for washing clothes. If we can use clothes washing machines efficiently, we may reduce our energy cost significantly. As a similar dishwasher, it’s not needed any minimum temperature for optimum cleaning to use cold/warm water instead of hot water.
As with other appliance by changing your old-style clothes washer with a new energy star efficient washing machine, you can save you bill easily. The inefficient washing machine may cost three times higher than the efficient one. The front-loading washing machine uses less water and energy than the top-loaded one.
As a similar dishwasher, it is better to use standard size than the smaller size washing machine to get optimum benefit.
Together, the small drop compilation will create a sea. A drip per second may not seem like much, but it will be 60 drips; in a day, it will be 8.64 gallons; in a year, it stands on 3,153 gallons of water. Which monetary value approximately $35 per year. So, don’t delay; fix your leaks today or change with a new one to be sure.
It is impossible to invest an arm and a leg for everyone to change all old appliances with a new one. Nonetheless, to save water and energy, there are some alternative low-cost options too. Like –
- Set the thermostat temperature at 120° F. By reducing every 10°F temperature, and we can also save 3-5% water heating cost.
- Insulate the water heater storage tank as recommended by the manufacturer and cover the cold and hot water pipes with insulation.
- Use a heat trap on your water heater tank. It helps to cut $15-$30 from your water heating bill.
- Use a timer to shut off the heater at night or when it not in use.
- Take a shower as a substitute for using a bathtub; keep it as short as possible.
- Don’t run the faucet while brushing your teeth, saving or finding soap, or bringing another dish for the wash. All these extra minutes will compile much wastewater. Moreover, more…
An average household emits around 14 tons of greenhouse gases every year, mainly produced during electricity generation for heating water. To keep this world greener for a future generation, let’s start using as much renewable energy from today.