About 58 million homes heat their water with gas, while 42 million use electricity. But electric systems account for about 50 percent more carbon emissions, because so much power is lost in generation and transmission.
About 58 million homes heat their water with gas, while 42 million use electricity. But electric systems account for about 50 percent more carbon emissions, because so much power is lost in generation and transmission. To save energy, homeowners can install solar hot-water heaters or “on-demand” heaters, which have no storage tank and are 30 percent more efficient. Trimming usage is the top priority, though. Some steps are easy: New washing machines can cut hot-water consumption from 40 gal. to less than 20 — slashing energy use nearly in half.
>> 1. 1-GALLON RULE
Fill a bucket in your shower. If it takes less than 20 seconds to reach 1 gal., install a low-flow shower head. You’ll save both heat and water.
>> 2. NIGHT WISE
Put a timer on your electric water heater that turns it off while you’re asleep or keeps it off during peak hours–especially if you sign up for time-of-use pricing.
>> 3. COOLER THREADS
Use the cold or warm settings, rather than hot, to wash your clothes. They work just as well, particularly with special cold-water detergents.
>> 4. DRIP CONTROL
Fix leaky faucets. One drop per second adds up to a dollar a month on the heating bill. Faucet kits, cartridges and washers are simple to install.
>> 5. TUB PENALTY
Take showers, not baths. A shower uses 10 gal. of hot water, half as much as a bath — that is, if you’re in and out in 5 minutes and have a low-flow shower head.
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