Photo By Minerva Studio at istock
Carrollton, TX residents typically receive energy services through Oncor, but the Public Utility Commission of Texas gives residents of the Lone Star State the power to choose their energy providers. Whether you get your electricity from Oncor or a private supplier, keeping costs down is always a concern. Most guides on energy usage focus on how to save money by turning off lights, adding insulation to your home and setting your thermostat so that your heating and cooling system isn’t always running. What many people don’t know is that making several plumbing changes can reduce your energy usage, saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your utility bills. To reduce your energy costs, talk to your plumber about whether the following changes are feasible.
1. Install New Faucets
A dripping sink may not annoy you too much, but it could be costing you big-time when it comes to your water and power bills. Leaky faucets lose several gallons of water per day; if it’s hot water, then you’re paying to heat water that you’ll never get to use. If you have hard water, mineral deposits inside the faucet could also cause corrosion, allowing water to spurt from the faucet instead of flowing in a steady stream, wasting even more water. To remedy this problem, have a Carrollton, TX plumber replace the faucets in your kitchen and bathrooms. If you have a sink in your basement or garage, have that faucet replaced as well.
2. Purchase New Appliances
If you have an older dishwasher and washing machine, they may not be as energy efficient as they could be. Newer washing machines use much less water, which means you’ll pay less to heat any water used when you have the machine set on hot or warm. New dishwashers have several features that make them more energy-efficient: dish rack designs that get dishes cleaner with less water, soil sensors that adjust water flow based on how dirty your dishes are, efficient jets to distribute water without using a lot of energy and better water-filtration systems to get dishes clean without using an excessive amount of water. Once you buy new appliances, have a plumber install them to ensure that they run as efficiently as possible.
3. Add a Timer to Your Water Heater
Without a timer, your water heater will run when you’re not even using hot water. Heating water while you’re asleep or at work is a waste of energy, and it can cost you a significant amount of money over the years. Have a Carrollton, TX plumber add a timer to your water heater to prevent it from running overnight.
4. Lower the Temperature on Your Water Heater
If you had your water heater installed without making any adjustments, the thermostat is likely to set to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. In most cases, you don’t need your water to get that hot. Even if you reduce the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, the water will still get hot enough for showering and washing dishes by hand. Ask your plumber to make the adjustment for you, and you’re likely to see lower electricity bills in the future.
5. Go Tankless
Replacing your older water heater with a new, tankless version may help you save even more money. Instead of heating water and storing it in a tank to be used throughout the day, tankless water heaters have electric elements or gas burners that heat the water directly. The ability to heat water directly eliminates the problem of running out of hot water when you’re in the middle of a shower or trying to wash a load of dishes by hand. Having a plumber install a tankless water heater saves you money by eliminating the need to store hot water in a tank and keep it warm until it’s used. A tankless water heater is also ideal if you have a large bathtub to fill, as you won’t run out of hot water before the tub fills completely. Ask your plumber if it makes sense to install a tankless heater in your home.
6. Replace Your Shower Fixtures
If you live in an older home, replacing your shower fixtures can have a noticeable effect on your energy bill. According to guidelines issued by the federal government, new showerheads must not have flow rates of more than 2.5 gallons per minute if the water pressure is 80 pounds per square inch. Older showerheads had much higher flow rates; if you still have one of these fixtures in your home, you’re probably using much more water than you realize every time you take a shower. Have a plumber install a new showerhead to conserve water and reduce your energy costs.
7. Have a Plumber Insulate Your Water Pipes
Adding insulation to the pipes that connect to your water heater can help you avoid heat loss, which causes the water flowing through the pipes to cool down faster than usual. If the water is cooler than you expected when it comes out of the faucet, you may have to use additional energy to reheat it, increasing your power bill. The amount of insulation needed depends on how often you use the pipes and the temperature of the water flowing through the system, so have a plumber do the installation to ensure it’s done correctly.
Making a few simple changes can help you reduce your electricity bill and avoid wasting energy. If you’d like to make some of these changes in your home, contact bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of North Dallas at (469) 214-2582. One of our experienced plumbers will examine your current plumbing system and make recommendations to help you save money on your utility bills.