The good news is there are some easy ways to reduce the amount of hot water you use without sacrificing your quality of life at home. Here are six of them:
Fix Leaks – A one-drip-per-second leak from a single faucet wastes 2,777 gallons of water a year, according to the USGS Water Sciences School, so repair leaks in faucets, showerheads, and pipes quickly.
Install low-flow showerheads – Some old shower heads could have flow rates of 5.5 gallons per minute (gpm) or higher; new ones allow a maximum of 2.5 gpm. Swap old for new and you’ll cut your shower hot water usage by half.
Replace your faucet aerators – The aerator on your faucet (the screw-on tip) regulates water flow from your tap and makes sure it comes out in an even stream. Much like a low-flow shower head, swapping the 2.2 gpm aerator in your kitchen with a 1.0 gpm model will cut your hot water consumption in half.
Use a cold-water wash – Today’s laundry detergents are designed to work perfectly well in cold water, which saves you 25 gallons or more of heated water for every load. If you still want to use warm water, choose the right load size setting from your washing machine to minimize wasted hot water.
Buy energy efficient appliances – A high-efficiency upgrade to your current appliances (your dishwasher and washing machine, for example) can have a significant impact on your energy use – often enough to offset the cost of the new equipment within a few years.