The last thing homeowners want is a skyrocketing energy bill. We wrote this article to help you save energy with your plumbing. We’ve also included a section on why you should consider switching to tankless water heaters. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our plumbers in Universal City, TX.
- Avoid running the dishwasher during peak hours as the demand for electricity is higher, making it more expensive. Consider using it at night instead.
- Do you have kitchen items made with cast iron, wood, bronze, or copper? We suggest that you hand-wash them. Metals can discolor when you wash them in the dishwasher, and wooden items can split and dry out. You may check the manufacturer’s manual for the complete list of instructions on using your dishwasher for energy efficiency.
- Don’t overload the dishwasher if you don’t want to damage the dishes. Overloading can also affect the unit’s efficiency, and you may end up running another cycle.
- You waste water by pre-rinsing your dishes. And because detergent doesn’t have anything to cling to, it might leave residue on your kitchen items.
- To avoid rewashing the dishes, please ensure no food and other leftover particles are stuck near the drain. After emptying your dishwasher, always check the bottom part for any food that may be stuck.
- Invest in a smart dishwasher to save up to 1,000 gallons of water. Other features you get to enjoy include options such as adjustable drying times and delayed start. You can also set up your smart dishwasher to send notifications to your device. A smart dishwasher can also be controlled remotely to help you save water and money. If you’re thinking of getting this device, please only work with a licensed plumber in Universal City, TX, for installation.
- To save water and money, run the dishwasher only on full loads. Also, consider air-drying the dishes instead of using the heat cycle feature on your dishwasher.
Your washer’s energy usage accounts for up to 40 percent of your water consumption. And even if you only use the washing machine once or twice a week, the reality is that the unit’s energy usage still contributes to your utility costs. You can save energy and money with our tips below:
- Wash your clothes with cold water. In a hot setting, about 90 percent of the energy used by your washer is spent heating the water, and about 10 percent is used heating the washer’s motor. You can save $60 annually by washing your clothes in cold water (assuming you do an average of about 300 loads a year.) And do you know that cold water also prevents shrinkage? So it’s another reason to wash your clothes in cold water.
- Consider buying front loaders as they are more efficient than top-loading washers. If you wash your clothes in 100 percent cold water, it would only cost $47 annually to run a front loader and $101 for a top loader. To install your new unit, please make sure to only hire a licensed plumber in Universal City.
- Washing your laundry in off-peak hours — between 7 pm to 11 am — can help you save energy and money.
- Switch to ENERGY STAR front-loading washing machines as they only use 15 gallons of water per load, while top-loading washers without the ENERGY STAR LABEL label use about 23 gallons. For installation, make sure you only hire a licensed professional in Universal City, TX. You could lose the warranty when the unit isn’t properly installed.
- If you have an energy-efficient washer installed, use high-efficiency detergent to avoid running another cycle. Regular detergent produces a lot of suds, and they may not be properly removed with less water. This can interfere with the tumbling action used for efficiently cleaning your clothes. As a result, your washing machine works harder, potentially causing problems. Check the manual for what type of detergent is best for your washer. For repairs, please hire a licensed plumber in Universal City.
- You can better monitor energy usage by installing smart washers and dryers. Smart appliances can be set to automatically turn on and off at specific times to allow you to take advantage of peak hours. While they are more expensive than traditional washers and dryers, you get to save more energy in the long run. For installation, please make sure to only work with licensed plumbing professionals in Universal City.
- You can save energy when you only wash on full loads. Should you decide to do a smaller load, don’t forget to select the appropriate size setting on your unit.
- Don’t forget to dry similar clothes together to save energy. Remember that synthetics dry more quickly than bath towels, so make sure you separate them. When washing your clothes, use the high spin cycle to reduce the amount of water your clothes retain. As a result, you also get to reduce the amount of energy used for drying your clothes.
Energy Tips for Your Dryer:
- To improve the efficiency of your dryer, make sure to clean the dryer’s lint filter. Cleaning the filters can help improve airflow and reduce the risk of fire.
- You can save energy by using the low heat setting. Try checking the manual for information about which setting and cycles use the least amount of energy.
- You can always skip the dryer and use a drying rack instead. While it takes longer, air drying is a surefire way to save energy and money.
If you’re planning to buy a new dryer, consider buying natural gas over an electric one as they dry clothing faster, reducing your energy consumption. For installation, please make sure to only hire a licensed plumber in Universal City.
Are Electric Water Heaters More Efficient Than Gas Water Heaters?
The water heater accounts for about 18 percent of your utility bill. And knowing what type of water heater to install is the first step to lowering your energy costs. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our plumbers in Universal City to help you decide whether electric water heaters are more energy-efficient than gas water heaters.
It would be ideal to have gas water heaters if you have natural gas piped into your home. Otherwise, adding a gas line would be more expensive, and it would take longer to realize the energy savings.
Gas water heaters last about 13 years on average and only 12 years for electric heaters. When reheating the water, gas water heaters can reheat it faster. Also, you can use them even when there’s a power outage; electric water heaters won’t operate when there’s no power. One of the downsides is that there is heat loss with the gas water heaters, making them less efficient.
When it comes to installation, electric water heaters are much cheaper. Gas water heaters involve working with gas lines which can be expensive and dangerous. If you’re looking for a safer option, it may be best to go with an electric water heater than gas. Electric water heaters are also less expensive compared to gas heaters, and they require less space. Most importantly, electric water heaters are more efficient because there’s no heat loss. Are you thinking of switching from gas to electric? Please hire a licensed plumber in Universal City, TX, for installation.
Switching to Tankless Water Heaters to Save Energy
Compared to the tank-type water heater where the tank stores the water, a tankless water heater only heats the water when there’s a demand for it. No tap is on, no water is heated. This type of heater heats the water directly — the cold water travels through your plumbing pipes to your tankless water heater, and then a heating element (electric or gas) heats the water and delivers this to the shower or tap. However, they only provide water at 2.5 gallons per minute, and gas-fired heaters produce a higher flow rate.
But don’t worry, you can still meet your hot water needs by installing multiple tankless water heaters. For installation, only work with a licensed plumber in Universal City, TX.
When deciding what type of water heater to install for your home, take these factors into account. And contact a licensed plumbing professional for installation.
Life expectancy – A conventional water heater lasts 10 to 15 years; tankless water heaters can last 20 years or more. Homeowners that want to avoid buying another water heater after 10 years may consider switching to tankless water heaters instead. It’s also a good option if you’re planning to sell your home in the future. Talk to a plumber in Universal City, TX, if you need more information about tankless waters or when you’re ready to install a new unit.
Cost – Don’t just consider the upfront costs and installation costs. You also need to consider the potential energy savings when you switch to a tankless water heater. Tank-type heaters may cost less, but you get to save more money in the long run by switching to the tankless version. If you need more help deciding which one to purchase for your home, please don’t hesitate to contact a licensed plumber in your area. Our plumbers at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio are highly knowledgeable about water heaters. Our plumbers can also install any water heater type. Call us when you’re ready to install a new unit, and we’ll quickly dispatch a plumber to your location.
Energy Usage – Tank-type water heaters have standby heat loss; the water needs to be constantly heated until use. That means you’re still using energy, albeit not using the water heater. Tankless water heaters don’t standby heat loss as you’re only using energy when you turn on the tap or shower.
Compared to the tank-type water heater, tankless water heaters are up to 34 percent energy-efficient for a household that uses about 40 gallons of water a day.
You get to save more money when you install multiple water heaters — that’s up to 50 percent more savings. For installation, do make sure to only hire a licensed plumber in your area.
Better yet, consider installing an ENERGY STAR tankless water heater and save about $100 a year on your bill.
In choosing a tankless water heater:
Have you decided to install a tankless water heater? Please contact a licensed plumber at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio for the installation. But first, you need to figure out how to choose the best water heater for your home.
It’s important to know the water heater’s flow rate and decide how many units you expect to use at one time. Then, add the flow rates of each unit to know the maximum flow rate you’ll need in your household. Call a plumber at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio if you need help with this.
As mentioned earlier, choose ENERGY STAR models for more savings. You may contact us if you need more information about this. Our team can help you decide which water heater type is best for you.
Contact bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio
Do you need a plumber in Universal City, TX? We can help! Our plumbers are fully licensed, insured, and experienced. We are a reliable and trusted plumbing company offering a wide range of plumbing services to all customers. Call us if you need help with any plumbing repairs or installations, and we are more than happy to help!
At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio, our plumbers work incredibly hard and go the extra mile to ensure you’re completely delighted with our service. We’re also fully equipped, so there’s no need to schedule another appointment when something comes up. We will do our best to resolve the issue within the day. Also, we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact us today for an appointment!