You can lower your water heater usage and utility costs by following these simple steps.

  • Opt for showers instead of baths. Baths may be relaxing, but they waste water. Showering requires far less water than a bath.
  • Install a low-flow showerhead. This can reduce overall water usage in a home by as much as 40 percent.
  • Install a timer to turn off an electric water heater during the night when you are not using hot water. You can set the timer to turn the heater back on about half an hour before you need it in the morning. For gas water heaters, you can adjust it manually for off-peak hours.
  • Do not linger in the shower. It may be nice to stand under the hot water while you belt out your favorite tunes, but all that water adds dollars to your utility bill. By focusing on limiting the time that you spend in the shower, you can save money on water as well as electricity or gas.
  • Adjust the temperature of your water heater. Simply lowering the temperature of your water heater by a few degrees can reduce your costs by up to 10 percent and put more money in your wallet. It can also help prevent scalds and burns.
  • Do not let the water run unnecessarily. If you leave the faucet running when you are not actively using the water, you are watching money go down the drain. You should turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, scrubbing dishes, or shaving until you are ready to rinse.
  • Add insulation. You can reduce heat loss and save money by insulating the water heater tank and at least the first few feet of pipes.

If you have an older water heater, you can also save money by upgrading to a new, energy-efficient model. Tankless or hybrid water heaters are the most efficient models on the market; however, they do come with a higher initial cost. Upgrading your dishwasher and washing machine can also reduce your water heating costs.