Money saving tips: ways to cut your hot water usage
To cut your heating bill, be sure to cut your water usage too.
Saving money on heating oil doesn’t need to involve putting on an extra layer. If you usually leave the heating switched off for as long as possible, or keep the thermostat super low, don’t forget there are other ways to save too. The hot water you use has a huge impact on the amount of heating oil you use. To give you an idea, the Energy Saving Trust estimates that the energy used to heat water counts for 20% of the average heating bill. And it’s estimated that simply replacing one bath a week with a five-minute shower could put £20 back in your pocket.
Not only does cutting down your water usage save you money, it also has environmental benefits. Treating and pumping water into homes uses a considerable amount of energy, so by keeping your usage to a minimum, you can reduce your carbon footprint and help preserve the planet.
So, where to start? Here are some quick-fire tips to help you keep your water and heating oil usage down.
Speed up your showers
Standing under a hot shower is lovely, but it should be a treat rather than a daily occurrence if you’re keen to reduce your heating bills. Investing in a shower timer is an easy way to keep track. Try to keep your showers down to between five and ten minutes.
Walk away from the power shower
A power shower is a luxury, but one that has consequences for your heating oil and water usage. The average shower uses 12 litres of water per minute, whereas a power shower uses 15 litres, which works out at 30 litres more for a ten-minute shower. That’s 30 litres more water to heat and go down the drain. If you’re serious about cutting your bills, it may be best to avoid buying one.
If you already have a power shower, you may still have opportunities to save. It may have flow controls, in which case, you can turn these down to avoid using quite so much water. Or you may be able to adjust the shower head to reduce the surge, or fit a shower head flow regulator for the same effect. Alternatively, avoid turning the tap on all the way.
Use a dishwasher, but pack it full
It’s a myth that dishwashers are inefficient. Research by Which? found that the average dishwasher uses four times less water than hand washing, with some models using as much as ten times less water. That’s significantly less water to heat up.
This is good news for any dishwasher owner. To get the most of the appliance, be sure to fill it up so you’re using less water for each item. (The same rule applies to using your washing machine.)
Invest in a washing up bowl
If you don’t have a dishwasher, you can keep hot water usage to a minimum with the help of a washing up bowl. As it’s smaller than your sink, you’ll use less water. It’s also better to fill the bowl with hot soapy water a couple of times a day rather than washing up as and when with the hot tap running.
Dial down the water temperature
This tip applies to everyone. You should be able to adjust the water temperature on your boiler. This will mean the water isn’t quite as hot when it comes out of the taps. A general rule of thumb is to set the water temperature at 60ᴼC, so if yours is any higher, it’s well worth turning it down.
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