How to Reduce Your Water Consumption
Avoid Wasting Hot Water
We know that we should work to make our homes as energy-efficient as possible, and we probably also care about saving water. However, did you know that you can significantly impact your energy efficiency and water conservation efforts by focusing on wasting less hot water specifically? According to energy.gov, hot water accounts for 18% of our utility bill. By using less hot water, you save both water and the energy it takes to heat that water.
But how do you go about doing this? The first step is looking at the areas where you use the most hot water. For most people, this is in the bathroom and the kitchen. Below, we review a few ways to save hot water in your home, focusing on your plumbing fixtures and appliances.
Install WaterSense Fixtures in Your Home
From showerheads to faucets to toilets, there are many ways for you to conserve water every day. For example, by installing a low-flow showerhead, you and your family can save over 2,500 gallons of water per year. Conventional showerheads tend to use 2.5 gallons of water per minute. However, to qualify for the federally regulated WaterSense label, a low-flow showerhead must use no more than 2 gallons per minute. Though half a gallon a minute may not seem like a big difference, compounded over time, it represents a dramatic reduction in water usage.
Similarly, you can also install WaterSense labeled faucets in your bathrooms. These fixtures are water-efficient but don’t sacrifice on performance. Just as with low-flow showerheads, water-saving faucets are also designed to use less water per minute, and to receive the WaterSense certification, they must use no more than 1.5 gallons per minute. This translates to a 30% percent savings over conventional bathroom faucets.
Take a Shower Instead of a Bath
Some people assume that a bath uses less water than a shower because the water isn’t running the entire time you’re bathing. However, the opposite is true. Showers tend to use significantly less water than baths. A bath uses 50+ gallons of water, whereas a 5-minute shower uses less than half. Even with a longer shower, if you have a low-flow showerhead installed, you are still using significantly less water than you would if you filled your tub for a bath.
Upgrade to a Tankless Water Heater
According to energy.gov, the average American home uses 64 gallons of hot water per day. It can take a lot of energy to heat all this water. Because of this, many people are switching from conventional water heaters with storage tanks to tankless models. Tankless water heaters are indeed much more energy-efficient than traditional water heaters, but did you know that a tankless water heater may also help you conserve water?
Many people are surprised to learn that tankless water heaters can support their water conservation efforts. But it’s true! If you are in a situation where you are letting your faucet or shower run for 5+ minutes while you wait for hot water to arrive, a tankless water heater can help you conserve water. They can do this because tankless models provide instant hot water on demand and can be installed at the point of use. This means that you will no longer have to wait for the hot water to cross the house from your water heater to your faucet.
When shopping for a new water heater, look for those with the WaterSense or Energy Star labels.
Are you looking for more ways to conserve water and energy? Reach out to Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today for tips from one of our plumbers.