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Tips for Reducing Hot Water Usage in the Home

By identifying areas in the home where hot water is being wasted you can often lower your water heating costs significantly. Here are some things check.

Fix Water Leaks

Leaking faucets, shower heads and pipes can waster a lot of hot water over time. Even a seemingly insignificant leak of one drip per second can cost $12 a year. If your water heater tank is leaking, the unit should be replaced.

Install Low-Flow Plumbing Fixtures

Quality low-flow shower heads and faucets can be purchased for between $10-20. For optimum water efficiency, choose a shower head with a flow rate of less than 2.5 gpm (gallons per minute). New EPA regulations mandate that new showerhead flow rates cannot exceed 2.5 gpm at a water pressure of 80 pounds per square inch (psi).

Upgrade to Energy Efficient Appliances

One of the biggest expenses of cleaning dishes and clothes comes from the energy needed to heat the water. Before buying a new dishwasher or clothes washer Check the EnergyGuide label to see how much energy it will consume annually. Choosing a dishwasher with a booster heater will also save energy by increasing the temperature of the water entering the dishwasher to the 140ºF recommended for cleaning.

Use Cold Water When Possible

When washing clothes choose the cold water clean cycle when possible. Some special laundry detergents are designed to clean more effectively with cold water.

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