Saving water benefits homeowners and environment

JoelHere’s a realistic statistic for you if you’re looking for ways to save money on your utility costs: Your water heater is your third-largest energy user, and it accounts for about 14 percent of your total energy bill.

Today, we’re going to look at a few ways to save a lot of money that otherwise would have gone down the drain.

•Take showers instead of baths. It saves on water and also the cost of heating it.
 •Fix broken or dripping faucets. A single faucet dripping hot water can waste as much as 200 gallons a month.
 •Use low-flow aerators. It helps to save water, but still makes it seem like you’re using just as much.

•Consider replacing your water heater at about the 10-year-old mark. The tank tends to build up a lot of calcium and deposits inside, which must be penetrated before the water can be heated — and that wastes energy.

•If you have a large family, you may want to consider an on-demand water heater. Not only is it more efficient, but 30 percent of the cost qualifies for a government tax credit.

•Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees. A family of four, each showering for just five minutes, uses about 700 gallons of water each week. Lowering the temperature can make a big difference on your bills. 

•And finally, turn the temperature dial to the vacation setting if you are away from home for more than two days.

By using these simple suggestions, you’ll easily knock a hundred bucks a year off your energy bill — which is better for your wallet and for the environment.

Joel Wensley is a licensed mechanical contractor in the state of Michigan, a WJBK-TV Fox2 Detroit news contributor and president of Mechanical Heating & Cooling in Dearborn Heights.