Sunday, July 6, 2008

We're in Hot Water

In my never ending search for ways to reduce our energy consumption, as well as our electric bill, it occurs to me that our water heater uses up a lot of energy. It's on all day and ensures that the very moment hot water is called for, it is delivered to our tap in a seemingly endless supply.

As convenient as that has been, the truth is that we don't use that much hot water. And, with a little planning, waiting for an hour for the water to be fully heated isn't all that bad. So, we've started to turn off our water heater except for one hour a day. Some of you may have access to a switch on the side of your water heater than can be turned on and off. We live in an apartment and management doesn't really appreciate our messing with their equipment, so we simply turn it off at the circuit box. This works even better if your water heater is insulated. One hour of heating a day gives us enough hot water for all of our needs. When I do laundry (the white stuff) I turn it on for a bit longer. But did you know that most loads of wash come out perfectly clean with cold water? Yep ... it's true!

It's also a good idea to turn down the thermostat on your water heater. And if you're used to luxuriating in a steamy, hot shower long after you've taken care of business, try taking a cooler, shorter shower.

As always, I would love to hear your ideas for reducing, reusing and recycling. Just click on the comments link, located at the bottom of each post, and let me know what you think and how you conserve. Maybe you'll see your ideas in an upcoming post.