There are simple and sensible ways to use less hot water around the house and cut your water heating costs. In most cases, this can be done with little or no initial cost and only minor changes in lifestyle.
How to save hot water
Some common-sense tips for reducing hot water use include:
- Use the lowest temperature wash and rinse settings on clothes washers. An average load of laundry uses about 121 litres of water. Switching from hot to cold water will not only save the energy used to heat the water, but can also reduce fading and shrinkage of clothes.
- A front loading washing machine will cut your water use by nearly 40 per cent. A typical top-loading washer uses about 150 litres of water for each full load. In contrast, a full-size horizontal axis clothes washer uses only 75 to 100 litres.
- Install low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators. Alternatively, install a shower flow restrictor.
- Take showers instead of baths. An average bath takes 300 litres of water, while a 10-minute shower uses only 60 litres with a low flow shower head (100 – 150 litres with an ordinary shower head).
- Operate clothes washers and dishwashers only when full. An automatic dishwasher typically uses about 30 to 53 litres per cycle. Consider using the “light wash” cycle for lightly soiled dishes – it can save about 11 litres per cycle. For smaller loads of laundry, use the lowest available water level setting.
- Fix any leaks in pipes or faucets. A leaky faucet can waste 11,350 litres or more every year. If the leak is in a hot water pipe or faucet, the energy savings should easily pay for fixing the leak.
- Don’t leave hot water running while washing or shaving – this wastes both energy and water.
- Rinse dishes in cold water.