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Conserve Hot Water To Save Money

Seven easy ways to lower your utility bill

Every drop of hot water you don’t use adds up to savings on your energy bill.

Think about how often you run the hot water faucet or an appliance that uses hot water—and whether you could either turn it off or use cold water instead. Heating water is the second-largest energy expense in your home, second only to air conditioning, accounting for about 18% of a typical utility bill.

Here are seven ways to use less hot water:

1. Swap your old showerhead for a low-flow model that displays the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense label. Typical showerheads deliver 2.5 gallons of water per minute; WaterSense models release no more than 2 gallons per minute.

2. Set a timer for five minutes, and turn the shower off when the alarm rings. You can also turn the water off while you lather up your hair and turn it back on to rinse off.

3. Plug the sink while shaving instead of running the water the whole time to rinse your razor under the spigot. You could save up to 300 gallons of water a month this way.

4. Soak pots and pans instead of scraping them under running water. They’ll clean up quicker, and you’ll save water and energy.

5. Fix that leaky hot water faucet. It’s often a simple repair, but replacing it will cost less than you’ll pay for years of wasted water and energy that escapes through a leaky tap.

6. Wait until you have a full load in the dishwasher before you run it.

7. Insulate any hot water lines that you can access to prevent the heat from escaping before it gets to its destination.