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#tipsEnergy: Ways to Save on Water Heating Costs

February 20, 2013 - 5:09pm

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#tipsEnergy: Ways to Save on Water Heating Costs

Every month we ask the larger energy community to share their energy-saving tips, and we feature some of our favorite tips in a Storify. For this month's #tipsEnergy, we wanted to know how you save energy and money on water heating.

Storified by Energy Department ·
Wed, Feb 20 2013 22:12:00

Hot water is essential to most of our lives: We
use it to shower, run the dishwasher and wash clothes. Quite frequently, we use
more hot water than we think -- the average rate hot water flows out
of the kitchen faucet is 2 gallons per minute, and an eight-minute shower uses 10
gallons
 of hot water. Add it all up and the average household uses 64
gallons of hot water a day. It is no wonder that water heating
is the second largest energy expense, accounting for about 18 percent of
homeowners' utility bills.    

From no-cost changes to low-cost improvements to long-term
investments, there are plenty of ways to heat your water more efficiently. This
month, we asked our online community to share their tips for reducing water
heating costs.

One way to save
on water heating
is to conserve hot water by fixing leaks -- a leak of one
drip per second can cost $1 a month -- and installing low-flow fixtures --
upgrading to low-flow showerheads and faucets can achieve water savings of
25-60 percent alone. Many Twitter users’ tips focused on making no-cost changes
to how you use hot water to help cut your utility bills.

If your hot water
heater has a storage tank
, it might benefit from added insulation -- especially
if you have an older tank with an R-value of less than R-24 or if it feels warm
to the touch -- as one Twitter user points out. Wrap a water heater jacket
around it to stop heat loss from the tank, but be sure to consult the
manufacturer's recommendations first to ensure the insulation works with your
type of water heater.

Water heaters typically last 10-15 years. If your water
heater is older, consider buying a new energy-efficient one. Depending on your
water heating needs and the fuel source for your home, there are a number
of options available to you -- from conventional
storage
and tankless
water heaters
to solar and
heat
pump water heaters
.

One Twitter user shared his experience with a specific
technology -- the GE
Geospring
heat pump water heater. Learn how to estimate
the costs and efficiency of different types of water heaters
to determine
if you should invest in a more efficient system.

Looking for more ways to save money on energy costs? Be sure
to check out Energy Saver for great
tips and advice.

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