It’s summer: Use less hot water

When it’s warm outdoors, long, hot showers become less necessary.

Make a point of using less hot water during the summer and you could see a drop in both your water and energy bills.

The less hot water you use, the less you will have to pay to heat it.

The fact is that water heating accounts for about 18% of all the energy your family uses at home.

Here is how to cut that energy use:

  • Lower the temperature of your water heating to the warm setting, which is 120 degrees. The U.S. Department of Energy says that temperature not only can lower energy bills, it can prevent the water from scalding you.
  • Run your dishwasher only when it’s full. Never wash dishes by hand; that actually uses more water and energy.
  • Choose the “cold water” setting on your clothes washer. Your laundry will still get clean.
  • Fix leaky faucets. One drip of hot water per second from a leaky water faucet or showerhead wastes 1,661 gallons of water a year, according to the Energy Department. And it can cost you up to $35 a year.
  • Switch to low-flow faucets and showerheads. An Energy Department tip: Put a one-gallon bucket under your showerhead. Turn on the shower as you normally would in the morning, and set a timer. If it takes less than 20 seconds to fill that bucket to the one-gallon mark, it’s time to replace your showerhead with a water-saving model.