Saving in the Shower
Saving in the shower:
If you’re anything like me, long, hot showers are an important way I relax at the end of the day. I can’t help but turn the water heat up so high it is almost unbearable, and let it relax my muscles. There is something centering and calming about a hot shower that makes it an opportune time to collect my thoughts. The shower is a major area in which I fail in my quest to be as energy and economically efficient as I can, but I just can’t bring myself to sacrifice my shower time. However, there are some practical steps we shower-philosophers can take that will reduce the amount of water and energy we use, while still indulging a bit.
An aerator is a great way to reduce the volume of water used by faucets, without compromising pressure. This saves money and energy in two ways: first by reducing the amount of water coming out of the shower, and second by providing a high pressure flow that reduces the time it takes to wash and rinse (especially for those of us with thick hair!)
While lathering the body or hair, you can turn off the water, which results in tremendous savings. Remember that most showerheads have a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute! If you can’t bring yourself to shut off the water completely, choosing a showerhead with an optional low-flow or “soap up” setting reducing the amount of water used, too. Flipping to this setting while lathering or shaving can significantly cut your water use.
Lastly, make sure your water heater and pipes are wrapped in insulation. This means it takes less energy to heat the water to the temperature you want it.
Utilizing these energy and cost-saving tricks may allow you to reduce the temperature setting of your water heater, since it will require less energy to provide you with the hot water that you need. Every 10° F reduction on your water heater can save you 3%-5% on your energy costs, and also guilt about your shower time.