Cut costs on your hot water heating with these savings tips
Water heating is a big household cost, accounting for up to 30% of the average energy bill. For such a big factor in our annual energy cost, water heating doesn’t often get too much thought.
There are a number of ways the average household can cut down the cost of their water heating without sacrificing on comfort. We’re not recommending cold showers here, but we’ve got some easy tips and tricks you can use so you're not paying more than you have to for your hot water.
Use efficient appliances to cut water costs
- Install efficient shower heads
- Bring your hot machine wash down to warm or cold
- Use an efficient dishwasher instead of hand washing
It’s no surprise that showers, baths, dishwashers and washing machines chew up a lot of hot water usage for the majority of households. While that makes washing a big cost on most energy bills, there are a few ways to bring those costs down.
It’s true that a lower water flow means you’re using less hot water and thus saving money, but a number of energy-efficient shower heads don’t bring down that flow to the absolute minimum. Instead, focusing on the dispersion of the water out of the head means you can use a little less water on the shower without losing the feel of your usual shower.
You can also choose between an aerating or laminar flow, the latter of which offers the ‘rain’ effect of many modern bathrooms. Changing up the type of flow you use could help you decide just how heavy of a water flow you require to feel comfortable in the shower.
Washing machines are another big water user, but there’s a simple way to cut costs here. If you can choose the temperature your machine washes at, consider switching out your ‘hot’ wash for a warm wash at 30 degrees, or a cold wash if your clothes allow for it.
Dishwashers are the last appliance we want to mention here and believe it or not, our advice is to use one. An energy-efficient dishwasher actually uses less water than you would use by hand washing your dishes, thanks to the high power jets that allow for efficient cleaning. Consider cutting out your hand washing and getting an efficient dishwasher installed, who likes washing their dishes anyway?
Check up on your water tank
- Perform regular maintenance to ensure your tank is operating properly
- Insulate your water tank to reduce heat loss
- Repair any leaks
This may seem obvious, but ensuring your water tank is operating properly is a big step in the right direction in ensuring you’re not paying any extra on your energy bills.
Regular maintenance, such as cleaning your tank and repairing any leaks should be undertaken every six months. It is also recommended that you drain your tank around once a year to remove any sediment that may be impacting your water heating.
Another option you can take is insulating your water tank to reduce heat loss. Be careful to follow the tank manufacturer’s recommendations if you plan on insulating the tank yourself, or consider hiring a plumber.
Use cold water where you can
- Handwashing, clothes-washing and teeth brushing are easy to do with cold water
We still aren’t recommending cold showers, but brushing your teeth and washing your hands can easily be done with cold water without causing too much discomfort. While you might not run the water too long for these activities, the water usage adds up over time and will make a noticeable difference on your energy bill should you make the switch.
As we already mentioned, switching out a hot wash for a warm or cold wash isn’t a big deal for most clothing types. Read your clothing tags to see if your clothes recommend a cold or warm wash, and save away.
Consider solar water heating
- Solar can cut costs on your energy bills across the board, and water heating is no different.
Investing in a solar water heating system can save hundreds in running costs if you can afford the upfront purchase price. It also cuts the average household’s carbon emissions by 2.4-3 tonnes per year, bringing benefits to the environment.
With more than 1.2 solar water heating systems installed across Australia as of this year, more and more homes are seeing the benefit on their energy bills as they cut their hot water costs.
Looking for a new energy plan in your area? Head over to our energy hub to find and compare providers in your area, or make use of our handy comparison tool below.