Monday, December 5, 2011

Saving Hot Water - A Small Tip For Today

FaucetSo there are big ideals which will save millions of tons of carbon in the atmosphere and there are smaller tips which will just put a tiny dent in the CO2 levels. However these small tips if done by everyone can really add up as well. 

The suggestion today has to do when you are doing something at the sink which you would normally use hot water for. This would including washing your hands or rinsing your toothbrush, etc. First you should think about whether you really need to use hot water at all. Like do you really need to rinse your brush with hot water? Probably not, so you can just turn the handle all the way to cold and rinse it quick. Yes you are still going to use the same amount of water, but you aren't going to use any hot water. This will save all the energy that was needed to heat up that amount of water you ran off to rinse your brush. As an energy cost the amount needed to heat the water is much more then was is required to pump it and get it to you.

If you would like to still use hot water for a task, think about how often you never get hot water because you are done with your water task before the hot water actually starts coming out. This occurs because your hot water tank is far away from you in the basement. So when you run the hot water it has to travel all the way through the pipes to your sink before you get it. So if you are waiting for hot water then you are wasting all the water that filled the pipes and has cooled down. If you have to have hot water for your task then so be it. If you are like me though I'll just wash my hands while I'm waiting and end up being done before it gets there. If that is the case then what is the point? I mean I indeed just washed my hands with cold water. But in doing so I ran the hot water out of the tank and into the pipes, just not all the way to the sink I was at. So that hot water that I didn't even use is going to sit in the pipes and get cold and it'll happen again when I wash my hands. My point in all this is if you are going to end up just using cold water then just use the cold water from the tap. Don't waste the hot water by running into the pipes and not using it.

The do make a pump that you can install near you hot water tank which will circulate the hot water though the house so that it gets to your tap right away. I had one in my old house and it worked great. I don't think it cost much more then $30-$40 and it only took a 30 mins or so to install. The downside is that the pump was electric so I was using energy to save the energy. They manufacturer has of course thought of this, so there was  a timer build into the pump. So I would set it to come on in the morning when we woke up for work, shut off for the day, and the come on again about the time we came home from work until bed time. It really worked great. I think I'm going to look into getting one for the new house. Especially for the upstairs bathroom which takes forever to get hot water!

No comments: