Simply put, in Houston you lower your water heating costs by using less hot water, and there are concrete things that you can do to accomplish this goal. One is to fix leaks.
If your water heater is leaking, water heater repair will go a long way in helping you lower your energy bills. A local plumbing company will be able to send someone to your home to check your water heater for leaks, clean the collector when it is needed, and help you select an energy-efficient water heater if it is time for a replacement. A residential plumber can also inspect your entire home for leaks including the faucets and showerheads.
Choose Low-Flow Showerheads and Faucets
In order to meet federal regulations, showerheads must adhere to the following:
- Gallons per minute – No more than 2.5
- Water pressure – 80 pounds per square inch
You can purchase faucets that have even more stringent regulations than the ones listed above. These faucets do not exceed 2.2 gallons per minute at a water pressure of 60 pounds per square inch, and they are extremely reasonable. They will only cost you a maximum of $20, and they will help you realize a savings of up to 60 percent on your energy bills.
Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances
You also have the option of purchasing new energy-efficient appliances. Dishwashers and clothes washers require a great deal of energy to heat the water to the required temperature, but your energy costs will plummet just by selecting any energy-efficient version of these appliances.
How to Choose a Dishwasher
Contrary to what some people believe, you will not lower your energy costs by forgoing the use of a dishwasher. Washing your dishes once a day in an energy-efficient machine saves more hot water than washing them several times a day by hand. Before you purchase a new dishwasher, you will need to know how much energy it consumes. Manufacturers make this easy for you by placing an EnergyGuide label on the product for your viewing.
Keep in mind that some dishwashers are compact and others are standard. The EnergyGuide label may show that the compact dishwasher is more energy-efficient, but these dishwashers cannot hold as many dishes as the standard ones can. Therefore, you may be forced to use your compact model more often, and this will raise your energy costs.
You may also look for a booster heater to lower your heating costs. A booster heater makes an energy-efficient dishwasher even more efficient by heating the water that enters your dishwasher to 140 degrees. In some cases, the booster heater works as a part of the washing cycle. Others require that you manually turn the booster heater on to enjoy its benefits. Whichever you choose, you may find that these particular dishwashers are more expensive than others, but they pay for themselves after about a year if you also lower your water heater’s temperature.
How to Choose a Clothes Washer
Clothes washers are different from dishwashers because the water does not have to be heated to a minimum temperature. This allows you to use cold or warm water for most of your loads, and you will lower your energy costs by doing so.
If you have an older machine, it may be operating at an inefficient rate. Purchasing a newer model that gives you the ability to choose the temperature and water levels will help you make better use of your energy when you are washing clothes. Newer energy-efficient washers also help you save energy when you dry your clothes because new washers tend to have more effective spin cycles. This reduces drying time and allows you to use your clothes dryer less. Lastly, choose a front-loading machine over a top loader because front-loading machines use less water.