Save money, energy by wasting less hot water

Every drop of hot water you conserve could add up to savings on your energy bill.

Think about how often you run the hot water faucet or an appliance that uses hot water—when you could either turn it off or use cold water instead.

Here are six ways to use less hot water:

1. Swap your old shower head for a low-flow model that’s cleared to use the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense label. Typical shower heads deliver 2.5 gallons of water per minute; WaterSense models spray out no more than two gallons per minute. Much of that is hot water.

2. Set a timer for five minutes, and turn the shower off when the alarm rings. Turn the water off while you lather up your hair and turn it back on to rinse the soap out.

3. Plug the sink while you’re shaving instead of running the water the whole time so you can rinse your razor under the spigot. You could save up to 300 gallons of water a month.

4. Soak pots and pans instead of scraping them under running water. They’ll clean up quicker, and you’ll save water and energy.

5. Fix a leaky hot water faucet. Often, it’s a simple repair, but even replacing it will cost less than you’ll pay for the wasted water and energy that escapes through a leaky tap.

6. Wait until you have a full load in the dishwasher before you run it.