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Hot Water Heating Tips

Tune Up Your Hot Water Tank

Take a few simple measures to get the best performance from your water heater. Have a qualified person check the temperature. Most manufacturers recommend setting it between 49-60°C (140°F). Any higher is probably wasteful and may produce water that is too hot at the tap.

Take a few simple measures to get the best performance from your water heater. Have a qualified person check the temperature. Most manufacturers recommend setting it between 49-60°C (140°F). Any higher is probably wasteful and may produce water that is too hot at the tap.

Wrap your electric water heater with an insulating blanket. A water heater blanket will add to the existing insulation and reduce heat loss. Be sure it's CSA certified for use on all CSA approved electric water heaters set between 49-60°C (140°F).

Fix Leaky Taps

A tap dripping at one drop per second wastes 800 litres of water per month. In most cases, a worn out washer is the culprit. New washers are cheap, and they can be replaced in minutes with a simple wrench and screwdriver.

Get Sparkling Savings from Your Dishwasher

Read the instructions for your dishwasher to make sure you're taking advantage of all its energy-saving features. For easy-to-clean loads, use the light or short cycle. Use the no-heat or energy-saving drying cycle for further savings. If you don't have that feature, open the dishwasher door when the wash cycle is complete and let the dishes air-dry. And always, wait until the dishwasher is full before you run it.

Shower or Bath?

Quick showers are refreshing and use less hot water than baths. With an energy-efficient showerhead, you can really cut back on your hot water use. A typical bath uses about 75 litres of hot water, while a 5-minute shower with an energy efficient showerhead uses less than half of that.

Showerhead delivery:
Standard - 14.3 litres per minute, 60% hot water, 40% cold water.
Energy efficient - 9.4 litres per minute, 67% hot water, 33% cold water.
Flow rate should be 11.0 litres per minute or less to ensure reasonable energy savings.

Install an Energy-Saving Showerhead

An energy-saving showerhead can reduce your hot water use by up to 30%. In one year, you can save over 28,000 litres (6,167 gallons) of water. You'll still get brisk showers, and you'll save a significant amount on your electricity bill.

Use Faucet Aerators

Install faucet aerators on your sink faucets to lower water flow. Aerators mix air into the water flow and reduce water consumption by 25 - 50% per tap.

Insulate Hot Water Pipes

Insulate at least the first three feet of pipe leading to and from the hot water tank with tape wrap or snap-on foam pipe tubing. If your hot water pipes run through unheated sections of your home, insulate them there too. Combined with a water heater blanket, you could save a significant amount on your electricity bill every year. Plastic pipes shouldn't be wrapped - the extra warmth might soften them.

Wash Your Clothes for Less

About 25% of all household hot water is used for clothes washing. Use cold water washing wherever possible. And always set your washer to rinse with cold water. Cold water rinsing can save you enough energy for about 100 hot baths or 220 showers per year. When you do use hot water washing, be sure to set the water level to match the load.

Remove and clean the washer's agitator once a month. Clean the filters of both water hose inlets on the back of the machine once a year.

Looking for a New Dishwasher or Washing Machine?

It pays to read the EnerGuide label and comparison shop for the most energy efficient model. Remember, the lower the kWh rating, the better the efficiency. Appliances last for many years, and the "second price tag", the cost of running the appliance, can add up to more than the initial purchase price. So use the EnerGuide label to help you shop smart.

Energy Efficient Water Products

By using these products, you can easily reduce your hot water consumption and costs. You can install each of these products in minutes. The savings go on for years.

Energy-saving showerhead
Energy-saving showerheads, available in a wide range of styles and prices, can reduce your hot water use by up to 30%. In one month, you can save over 2,300 litres (506 gallons) of water!
The showerhead efficiency test: Open an empty 2-litre cardboard milk carton and hold it up to the shower while it is fully on. If it fills in under 10 seconds, it is not energy efficient. You should consider replacing it.

Faucet aerators
You can install faucet aerators on your sink faucets to lower water flow. Aerators mix air into the water flow and reduce water consumption by 25 - 50% per tap. Check to see whether aerators can be threaded onto your taps.

Pipe wrap
The pipe wrap comes in either insulated tape or snap-on foam tubing. Both are easy do-it-yourself jobs. With both types, the insulation should be a minimum of 13 mm thick to be effective.
Insulate the first two to four feet of pipe leading to and from the hot water tank. If your hot water pipes run through cold or unfinished sections of your home, insulate them there too. Plastic pipes shouldn't be wrapped - the extra warmth might soften them.