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Five ways homeowners can cut costs on water heating

On a daily average, kitchen and bathrooms faucets use up to two gallons of hot water per minute (Photo by Evrim Icoz).

On a daily average, kitchen and bathrooms faucets use up to two gallons of hot water per minute (Photo by Evrim Icoz).

With fall weather underway and chilly temperatures ahead, we’re going to be using more and more hot water.

The U.S. Department of Energy found that water heating accounts for about 18 percent of an average family’s utility bill. This makes water heating the second largest energy expense in your home.

To help Maryland families prepare for the cold months, we’ve collected five ways to help cut costs on your water heating bill. 

Water Heating Tips

  1. Adjust the water heater thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (F) to get comfortable hot water for most household uses. Every 10-degree F reduction in the temperature can lower water heating costs up to 5 percent.
  2. Detect and repair leaky faucets right away. Replace old faucets with WaterSense labeled low-flow faucets and shower heads, which can save the average family 700 gallons of water annually.
  3. Insulate your water heater. Be careful not to cover the top, bottom, thermostat or burner compartment of natural gas or oil hot-water storage tanks. In addition, insulate the first 6 feet of hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater.
  4. Invest in a new energy-efficient water heater with the ENERGY STAR label to save energy long-term. ENERGY STAR certified water heaters can use 50 percent less energy than equipment that meets the minimum federal standard.
  5. Lastly, a no-cost strategy that we can all do is to use hot water more efficiently. Reduce water consumption by taking shorter showers, using cold water for most laundry loads or choosing shorter cycles on the dishwasher.

Through DHCD’s Be SMART Home Loan program, you can also learn how to get innovative financing for energy efficiency upgrades to your home, which includes hot water system improvements. Be SMART offers flexible financing of up to $25,000 for eligible homeowners.

For more ways to save energy, visit the U.S. Department of Energy‘s website.

We hope you apply these simple energy tips to your home. We’ll regularly share a new topic so don’t forget to subscribe to our blog!

By Samantha Lozano