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What do showers, baths, dish washing, laundry and hand washing have in common?  They all require hot water.  This means your water heater stays busy.   Whether you have a gas, electric or tankless unit,  finding ways to be more energy efficient can preserve natural resources and help save money.  According to www.energysavers.gov,  heating water can use 14-25% of a home’s energy consumption, a significant portion of your power bill.

Here are a few tips for saving on heating your water:

• If you have a traditional gas or electric hot water heater, consider installing a tankless unit.  Tankless water heaters increase energy savings by heating water on demand instead of storing it for later use.   They may be more expensive initially, but can mean significant savings on energy use and costs in the long run.
• Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees to save on energy consumption and to prevent scalding accidents.

• If you are building a home or remodeling one, place the water heater as close as possible to the location that will likely have the most hot water usage.  By reducing the time that the hot water travels, you can conserve energy.

• Consider installing an energy efficient solar water heating system.

• For electric water heaters, install a timer that turns the unit off when it’s not used frequently.

•  Make sure your water heater is the right size for your household.  If your water heater is too big for your needs, you are wasting energy.

• Take shorter showers! Time yourself, and make it a goal to cut your shower time in half.

• Consider installing an energy efficient, low flow shower head and other energy efficient appliances, like dishwashers and clothes washers to reduce the demand and wear on your water heater.