With the rising cost of living, everyone wants to find ways to lower their unnecessary expenses. On average, your water heating bill will make up about 18% of your total utility bill. So here are the ten ways you can reduce your hot water bill to help you cut back on utility expenses, even during winter.
How do I save on hot water bills?
1. Install a hot water timer
You can purchase water heater timers from home improvement stores, hardware stores, or online retailers. They usually are easy to install, and you can program them to shut down the water heater when you are away, asleep, or when your household has no need for hot water over the next few hours. A hot water timer can quickly become your most invaluable tool in reducing your hot water bill.
2. Install low-flow shower heads and taps
Using state-of-the-art low-flow showerheads uses about 50% less water than older models. If you’re still using a showerhead over a decade old, consider replacing it with a more efficient low-flow model. Your wallet and environment will thank you for it. Newer models are designed to produce satisfying showers whilst being environmentally friendly.
3. Insulate your pipes
Insulating the first 90cm of pipe that exits the water heater will prevent significant heat loss whenever a hot water tap is used anywhere in the house. For gas water heaters, remember that the insulation should be at least 15cm clear of the flue.
4. Insulate your water heater
Check the owner’s manual of your water heater to check if the built-in insulation carries a rating of less than R-24. If it does, you need to put an insulation blanket on your tank. An easy way to check if you need to insulate your tank without an owner’s manual is to feel the tank on the outside. If it’s warm to the touch, you have less built-in insulation than you need.
5. Lower the temperature on your water heater
While manufacturers often set their water heater thermostats to 70-75°C, the typical household might be more comfortable setting it to 60°C. It’s worth trying to take a shower with this slight temperature adjustment. You will most likely not even experience a substantial temperature difference. Still, the slight decrease will help you save on costs apart from reducing the risk of scalding and slowing down corrosion and mineral build-up in your pipes.
6. Repair leaky taps
Never underestimate the impact of a leaky tap. It might seem minor, but it can waste a lot of water in a short period. Be sure to repair any leaky taps for indoor and outdoor taps. One leaking tap can waste as much as 9,000 litres of water annually in Australia.
7. Place heat traps on your water heater tank
Newer water heaters have heat traps already installed on the cold-water inlet and hot water outlet pipes. But if your appliance lacks them, you can purchase and add them yourself (it’s a simple job). These cheap valves prevent heat from leaking up the pipes when the water heater isn’t in use.
8. Purchase an energy-efficient water heater
Water heaters over a decade old are not ideal as older models are less energy-efficient than newer models with more advanced technology. It would be wise to consider upgrading to a new water heater with an ENERGY RATING LABEL for energy efficiency.
9. Run only full loads of laundry and dishes
You can make the most out of the hot water you’re using by running only full loads of laundry and dishes. So, wait until your washing machine or dishwasher is full before running them.
10. Use water-efficient appliances
Besides looking at the energy rating label when considering a new water heater, check the details on water efficiency for any washing machine, dishwasher, or water heater. The manufacturer’s label should detail water-efficient units that consume less hot water.
Stop flushing your money down the drain with expensive water heating bills. Remember these rules to conserve energy and water and keep your utility bills within your household budget.