Love a long, hot shower? You might feel guilty that you’re using too much hot water. But there are ways to keep your hot water energy use down without having to sacrifice your “you” time in the shower.

And they're relatively inexpensive, too!

  1. Install low-flow showerheads
    Cut your shower water costs in half, about $145 a year according to ENERGY STAR, by replacing your old showerheads with low-flow versions.

    How do low-flow showerheads save you so much money?

    Showerheads made before 1992 have a flow rate of 5.5 GPM (gallons per minute). That’s 55 gallons for a typical 10-minute shower.

    But federal regulations now mandate that newer showerhead flow rates can’t exceed 2.5 GPM (i.e., a “lower water flow”). Now a typical 10-minute shower only puts out 25 gallons, less than half what the old showerhead would.

    You can get a good low-flow showerhead for $10-$20. Trading $10 for $145 sounds good to us!

  2. Turn down the water heater’s temperature
    News flash: Your water heater’s thermostat may be set too high. Many manufacturers ship water heaters with the thermostat set at 140 degrees F. This wastes “anywhere from $36 to $61 annually in standby heat losses and more than $400 in demand losses,” according to ENERGY STAR.

    Turn it down to 120 degrees F to save energy and money. Don’t go any lower than that, though.

    Warning: Don’t turn your water heater temperatures down to 120 degrees F if anyone in your home has a low immune system or is elderly. The amount of bacteria in your tank could be enough to harm them. But for most people, it’s OK.

  3. Wrap your water heater with an insulation blanket
    For older water heaters, too much heat escapes from the tank itself. To keep that heat in the tank, you should wrap it with an insulation blanket.

    This will save you more than $30 per year in excess heat loss. Want more savings? Insulate the hot water piping as well.

    Here’s a tutorial on how to install a hot water heater insulation wrap.

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Ragsdale Heating, Air, Plumbing & Electrical has been serving the metro Atlanta area for over 25 years. Contact us online for more information on how we can help you.

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