After heating and cooling your home, water-heating costs make up the largest energy expenditure for most homeowners, especially in the winter when water temperatures are lower.

Some simple and low-cost steps can help you save money on heating your water:

Fix your leaks. If you have a dripping hot water faucet anywhere in your home, you’re not only wasting water, you’re paying to heat water you never use. Some leaks are as simple to fix as changing a washer. If you don’t know whether it’s the cold or hot faucet dripping, change both washers.

Change your shower heads and faucets to low-flow devices. If your plumbing is original and your home was built before 1992, you can lower water-heating costs by putting in shower heads that have a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute or less. Putting aerators on bathroom and kitchen sink faucets also reduces the amount of hot water you use.

Wrap your water heater with an insulating blanket. Sold at home improvement stores, these reduce your standby losses by keeping the water heater warmer. If you can feel warmth when you place your hand on your water heater, an insulating blanket will save you money. Electric heaters are easy to insulate, but if yours is a gas water heater, you may need plumbing help to install it safely.

These three tips can save you money and resources in the short term, but if you want even better long-term savings, replace the dishwasher and clothes washer with more energy-efficient models when you need to upgrade. A dishwasher that has a heating element allows you to set the water heater thermostat at 120 degrees. The element in the dishwasher heats the water to 140 degrees, the temperature at which most dishwashers work most efficiently. Front-loading clothes washers use less water, and most loads in any kind of washer can be washed in cold or warm water for effective cleaning.

If you’re interested in learning more about lowering water-heating costs, contact Pipe Works Services in Morris County to talk to our expert plumbing and HVAC technicians. Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about water-heating costs and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Pipe Works Services serves Chatham, NJ, and the surrounding areas.

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