Water heating accounts for about 18% of our home’s total energy consumption (U.S. Department of Energy). That’s reason enough to think about ways to be more efficient with our water use.

Although we may rely on hot water to clean our clothes, dishes, and bodies, there are many ways that you can reduce your monthly water heating bills.

Some projects, like installing an energy-efficient water heater require professional service. Most energy-saving strategies, however, are simple do-it-yourself projects.

From practicing water-saving strategies to turning down the temperature of your water heater, learn 4 easy ways you save money and energy on your water heating.

How to Lower Water Heating Costs

Take Cold Showers

The cheapest and simplest way to save on water heating costs is to change your behavior. So, start thinking about taking shorter, colder showers. 

You may think we’re crazy by suggesting cold and short showers, but hear us out first. Cold water is better for your skin and hair. According to dermatologists, cold water prevents the skin from losing too many natural oils. Hot water tends to strip the skin and leave it feeling dry and itchy.

Cold water also helps keep hair follicles flat, increasing the strength, health, and shine of your hair. Cold water also helps raise energy levels, decrease stress, improve immunity, and of course, lower your utility bills.

So, take cold showers. Try to increase the amount of cold you can take each time you hop in the shower. You may enjoy it so much that you’ll try to convert others.

Either way, try to use less heat and time in the shower. Spread the news with your family and you’ll notice a HUGE reduction in your utility bills and a less stressed, more youthful household.

Lower the Water Heater Temperature

One of the quickest and easiest ways you can lower you water heating bill is by turning the temperature down.

There is a temperature dial on all water heaters that allows you to raise or lower the standing water temperature.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, For every 10ºF reduction in temperature, you can save around 3%–5% on your water heating costs.

Also, by lowering your water heater temperature from the standard 140ºF to 120ºF, you’ll reduce the risk of burns and scaldings. 140ºF is too hot for most households. You can lower it to 120ºF without feeling any reduction in comfort.

In order to lower your water heater temperature, read your manufacturer’s manual first to learn exactly how to do it. For most water heater tanks, the temperature dial will be located near the gas valve. Sometimes, there is a screw-on plate that must be unscrewed first to gain access to the water heater thermostat.

Learn more about lowering your water heater temperature.

Insulate Hot Water Tank and Plumbing Pipes

According to the EPA, “Insulating your hot water pipes reduces heat loss and can raise water temperature 2°F–4°F hotter than uninsulated pipes can deliver, allowing you to lower your water temperature setting.”

Additionally, if you insulate the water tank itself you can “reduce standby heat losses by 25%–45% and save you about 7%–16% in water heating costs—and should pay for itself in about a year” (EPA).

You can find insulation sleeves for your hot water pipes and water heater at your local improvement store. Expect to spend around $15 on the pipe insulation and around $20-$40 for the pre-cut water heater jackets or blankets.

When insulating your hot water heater, make sure not to cover the thermostat, the burner compartment, or the water heater’s top or bottom.

Make sure you turn off the water heater before you add any insulation.

Click here for step-by-step instructions for insulating your water heater tank.

Click here for step-by-step instructions for insulating your hot water pipes.

Fix Plumbing Leaks

You may not think about it much, but any leaks that you have in your plumbing system can put a drain on your wallet.

According to the EPA, “Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.” So, it’s a good idea to find and fix your water leaks as soon as possible.

If you don’t know if you have any plumbing leaks in your home, you can go to your water meter to check. It’s normally located near the curb in front of your home. Most water meters have a leak indication dial that spins when there is a leak.

If you don’t have a leak indication dial, you can test if you have a leak by writing down the number on the water meter and then come back around 30-60 minutes later to take another reading. Don’t use any water during the wait time.

If the water meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a plumbing leak that should be addressed.

You can also test your toilets for leaks by placing a few drops of color dye into the tank and wait to see if the food dye finds itself in the bowl itself. Most toilet bowl leaks can be fixed by replacing the flapper and/or chain.

Once you detect a plumbing leak, contact your local plumber to fix it.

If you have any questions about how to reduce water heater costs, low-flow plumbing fixtures, or anything else related to plumbing, heating, cooling, or electrical, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at OnTime Service.


OnTime Service provides professional water heater maintenance, repair, and installation service (including tankless water heaters) for the Hoover, AL area. Give us a call today: 205-942-1405

Our experienced team of technicians is fully trained to handle any system you may have. As always, we will troubleshoot your home and give you straightforward pricing options before any work begins.