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As cold temperatures settle in this winter, many home and business owners start to think of hot water as precious and expensive. The cold water that enters a water heater typically takes longer to heat in winter depending on the location of the heater and the model. Hot water also cools off faster inside of pipes. These temperature changes often result in water waste down drains while people wait for actual hot water to come out of their taps. Additionally, people often experience higher electric bills because their water heaters work extra hard to maintain their normal hot water usage.

You don’t have to use lukewarm water or reduce your overall usage to prevent waste and stick to a utility budget this winter. Consider these top methods for conserving hot water:

Use Hot Water in Wiser Ways

Only wash dishes when your dishwasher is full. If you prefer to hand-wash dishes, never use hot water to rinse off food waste. Instead, scrape off all scraps into a trash or garbage disposal before soaking or cleaning your dishes. Also, use a basin for soaking dishes so that you don’t have to waste a lot of hot water trying to wash away grease and soap scum from the sink. Lastly, never leave the hot water running while you’re wiping or scrubbing dishes.

Install a Shower Temperature Control

Many people waste hot water while trying to find the “perfect” shower temperature that meets their personal preferences. A digital temperature control unit makes certain that you don’t waste water with manual handle adjustments. Simply set the unit to the temperature you desire and wait for the system to mix the water to the right temperature before you turn on the spray. You can also set how long the shower runs so that you don’t stay in too long.

Use Water Recirculation Pump Equipment

A lot of hot water waste occurs when a person waits at the sink for the ice cold water in the hot water line to run down the drain. A recirculation pump system is an excellent conservation tool for bypassing this obstacle. Cold water from the hot water line is recirculated back through the cold line so that hot water comes out immediately when you turn on the tap. Both under-sink and whole home systems are available.

Invest in a Newer Hot Water Heater

Older water heaters often heat up water slower or reach the wrong preset temperature because of worn out parts. Also, most modern water heater manufacturers focus now on conservation and providing more efficiency. As a result, you can find plenty of environment- and wallet-friendly water heaters on the market, from companies like First Class Water Heaters Inc. Some models even use alternative energy sources like thermal and solar. Look for the government’s “Energy Star” symbol when shopping for a newer model.

Although the winter season has already started, you can still conserve hot water. An upfront investment now in time and money will help protect the environment and save you money for years to come. Start today.

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