Second only to the cost of heating and cooling a home, hot water can be a most costly expense. It is used in almost every appliance and consumed at an astounding rate. In fact, hot water heating alone makes up approximately a quarter of every dollar spent in the home! Therefore, it is absolutely worth taking the time to explore some money saving techniques. Having an annual maintenance inspection by a certified plumbing technician is a sure way to keep costs as low as possible, and is one of the numerous services offered by National Property Inspections.
Other than lifestyle and the amount of use, you can reduce the amount of water used by testing to see if your showers and tubs are “low-flow.” To be considered low-flow, a shower head must produce water at a rate of less than 2.5 gallons per minute. You can test this at home with your own bucket and faucet; if it takes anything less than 20 seconds to fill to the 1-gallon mark, your energy bills may benefit from a low-flow shower head.
To begin your transformation into efficiency, fix any water leaks right away to keep your pennies from dripping down the drain. Install low-flow fixtures in sinks, bathtubs and showers that keep water running efficiently without breaking the bank. Once you are ready for a bigger step, try energy-efficient dishwashers and clothes washers, which use less water in the long haul with a better pay-off for both you and the environment. If you decide to go away for more than a few days, be sure to turn down the temperature on the water heater to save on those costly utilities.
When it comes to water heaters, there are two kinds: those with tanks or without, or “instantaneous” heaters. Waterless tanks are 34% more efficient than tank water heaters, which must constantly heat and reheat a tank of hot water, whereas a tankless water heater only heats it as needed. On any given day households waste 6.35 gallons of water a day waiting for water to heat. With tankless water heaters, this problem is moot, heating in as little as five seconds compared to thirty. Costing between $650-$3,000 initially, the reduced energy and water costs make up for it in the long term, especially when serviced regularly.
Before purchasing a tankless water heater, there are some things to learn first. For example, it is extremely helpful to find out the groundwater temperature of your home. Since tankless water heaters draw directly from the underground supply lines, it helps to know the number of degrees the water will need to be heated as it migrates from the ground to your sink or shower. Second, the desired flow rate must be calculated at peak time to ensure you can run all appliances at the same time. Do this by considering what and how many appliances may be running at the same time, add up the number of gallons, and buy a heater that will be able to handle your needs.
With the help and knowledge of a trained National Property Inspections professional, it is simple to maintain an energy and budget efficient home. With the proper preparation, planning, and maintenance, your home can be the best of both worlds. Call today to talk about your next inspection and save money in the long-term.