Saving money with your house is all about increasing efficiency. To quote the title of a New Order song: every little counts. A few pennies here combined with a few nickels there adds up over the course of a year to a more than a few dollars more sticking around inside your bank account instead of being used to pay off the two million dollar mortgage of some CEO somewhere. One of the biggest wastes of money that can be addressed is domestic water use. Implement enough of these tips and over the course of the life you spend in a house you just may save enough money to invest in the same fancy model inground swimming pool as that CEO.
When you go on vacation for more than a few days, turn off the water heater. You don’t need to be heating water that is not going to be used.
Water Heater Temperature
The only homes that really need a water heater temperature setting above 120 degrees are those that regularly use a dishwasher. The hot water produced by temperatures in excess of 120 degrees are necessary for cleaning dirty dishes, but for little else. Even clothes will get clean in a washing machine when the water heater thermostat is set at 120 degrees. Not only will lowering the water heater temperature make using water more cost-efficient, but you also benefit from the reduced chances of accidental scalding.
A water heater should not actually be warm to the touch. If your water heater feels warm when you touch it, that is a sign that it is not properly insulated and the result of that lack of insulation is a waste of energy. Pipes that deliver hot water throughout your house should also be insulated to prevent the water from cooling as it travels through them.
Water Heater Relocation
You should seriously consider relocating your water heater or adding a second unit if you live in a large house and it is taking a long a time for the water to heat up on that part of house located farthest away from the water heater. Relocating your existing water heater to an area of the house roughly equidistant from all faucets will increase the efficiency with which hot water travels throughout the house. The less time you spend running the tap waiting for the hot water to arrive, the more money you save on water bills.
Fill The Dishwasher
Your dishwasher is going to use the same amount of water and same amount of energy to heat that water whether it is half-filled or totally stocked. Wait until you have a full load before washing dishes and you won’t be using that water and that energy in a money-wasting manner.
Those long showers you are taking may be by choice, but you may also be needing additional time to get clean without realizing. Remove the shower head and soak it in a bowl of vinegar. This will remove sediment that has built up inside the shower head over time and is now clogging the spray. Clogged sprays mean you are getting less water than should be coming out and at a reduced amount of pressure. This means spending more time in the shower to get clean than you need and that means an unnecessary waste of water.
Even the slowest drip from a faucet can add up to big bucks wasted on water bills over the course of the time you spend in the house. Any faucet that continues to drip after you have turned it off needs to be addressed. You may only need to tighten the existing faucet or you may need to invest in a brand new one. Don’t be put off by the cost of buying brand new faucets as that initial outlay of cash will quickly be made up for by the hidden cost of increased water bills that result from allowing dripping faucets to remain unaddressed.
Shower Instead of Bathing
You might not believe it from the amount of water that spritzes through the shower head, but filling up the tub for a bath is a far more inefficient way of using water to clean yourself. By taking a shower instead of a bath, you can put quite a large dent in your monthly water usage. And that translates directly into a lower figure every time you pay the utilities bill.