If you are having holiday guests you might be worried about water conservation. After all, one person taking a shower will use an average of two gallons of water per minute. Depending on how long your guests shower, the water usage will quickly add up.
In addition to more people taking showers during the holiday visits, there is usually more laundry being done, more dishes being washed, and more food being prepared. All of this takes a toll on your hot water heater, which leads to more energy usage.
If you are concerned about water and energy conservation this holiday season, here are some things that you can do:
- Talk to your plumbing technician about having your hot water heater drained. Over time, as your hot water heater holds hot water, little bits of sediment fall to the bottom of the tank and create a sandy bottom that acts as a barrier between the heating element and the water. This causes your hot water heater to have to work harder to keep the water hot. By draining the tank, you are also draining the build-up of sediment and improving the efficiency of your water heater.
- Consider wrapping your hot water tank with an insulated blanket. The room that your water heater sits in is likely not insulated, which means that the temperatures can dip pretty cold. This cold room will fight against your water heater and cool the water from the outside in, causing your water heater to have to work harder. Adding an insulated blanket will help to buffer the cold and protect the temperature of the water inside of the tank.
- Add fixtures to your kitchen and guest bathrooms that are designed for water conservation. These low-flow options are an effective and inexpensive way to conserve water without having to have an uncomfortable conversation with your guests about their water usage. These plumbing accessories have been on the market for several years and so there are many options for style, efficiency, and operation. In most cases, your guests won’t even know they are low-flow fixtures and no one will be complaining about water “just trickling out”.
The holidays are a time for sharing meals and memories with the ones you love. Don’t be preoccupied with worry about conservation and utility bills. Instead, implement these few proactive tips and rest assured that you are conserving without having to police everyone in your home.