4 Ways to Increase Plumbing Efficiency

The thing about saving water is that it also saves energy. Your water heater accounts for about 18 percent of your utility bill -- second only to the central air system as your home’s biggest energy consumer. So, the less water you use, the less water it has to heat.

Here are four ways to slash both your water and energy costs.

Use Pipe Insulation

Pipe insulation does more than protect your plumbing during a cold snap.

Water loses heat as it travels from the water heater to the tap. Insulation minimizes heat loss. Pipes with insulation deliver water up to 4° warmer than pipes without. Bonus: Insulation keeps hot water warmer between uses so you won’t have to wait as long for your shower to warm up.

Related: How to Prevent These Common Plumbing Problems

Turn Down the Water Heater’s Temperature

If you’ve never adjusted the thermostat on your water heater, it’s likely set to 140°. That’s the default temperature setting and it’s much hotter than you need. The U.S. Energy Department recommends setting the water heater temperature to 120°. This will cut your water heater’s costs by as much as $61 annually.

Even better, upgrade to a tankless water heater. Unlike a conventional storage water heater, it doesn’t keep hot water on standby. Rather, it supplies hot water as needed, making it about 30% more efficient.

Go With Low-Flow Fixtures

Low-flow showerheads deliver the same amount of water pressure you’re used to while using substantially less water. Showerheads with the WaterSense label use as little as 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm). Conventional models, in contrast, use as much as 8 gpm.

If your family argues about who gets to take a shower first because there’s always one person who gets left in the cold, literally, then low flow showerheads can bring peace. Your household will also save about 2,700 gallons annually.

More Ways to Save

Consider your daily routine to find opportunities to reign in your hot water usage.

  • Take shorter showers

  • Wash clothes in cold water

  • Run the dishwasher only when it’s full

For expert plumbing solutions, turn to the pros at Plumb Doctor. Call (770) 293-7080 to schedule your appointment.