Hot water reduction

If you have solar hot water on your house, this section still applies to you.  Water is another valuable resourse that the following recomendations conserve.  If you are not fortunate enough to have solar hot water, just think, every drop of hot water takes energy to heat.




A bath can use as much as 70 gallons of water, the best way to conserve here is to take a shower.  According to the US Department of Energy (USDE), showerheads before 1992 had a flow rate of 5.5 gpm (gallons per minute).  New shower heads are available with flows as little as 1.5 gpm and can be had for around $5.  Setting a timer in the shower will help you keep track of how long you're in there and can be an aid for minimizing that time.  Switching to a 1.5 gpm shower head over a 5.5 gpm one would save you 40 gallons for a 10 minute shower.  Not only is that a good amount of water being conserved, that is 40 gallons less that has to be heated through your energy demanding water heater.  If you are unsure of the flow rate of your showerhead, try this trick recommended by the USDE: Fill a one gallon bucket with your shower and time it.  Anything under 40 seconds can benefit from a new fixture.  The shorter the time, the more water and electricity you are using.



Average faucet output ranges anywhere from 2.2 - 3.0 gpm.  New aerators restrict flow to anywhere between 1.5 - .5 gpm.  They are easy to install and can also typically be had for under $5 at your local hardware store.  These represent a savings of as much as 2.5 gpm.  This again represents a savings of water and valuable electricity to heat it if running it hot.  Additionally, use cold water whenever hot is not needed.  Faucets with a single lever, if not pushed completely to the cold side, will still draw hot water that may not even reach the faucet by the time you are done using it.



Maui Electric company estimates that dishwashers use as much as 37% less hot water than hand washing.  Make sure to scrape plates and dishes, rather than prewashing, wash full loads, and use the shortest cycle.  Additionally, if your washer has a heat dry option, turn it off or to the air dry setting for additional savings.

Clothes Washer


Clothes washers operate sufficiently in all temperature ranges so if at all possible use the cold setting.  Also, be sure to always use cold water for the rinse cycle.

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