If you want to cut down on the amount of energy that you use via your hot water heater in your home, one of the best ways to do so is by actually reducing the amount of water that you use for everyday tasks, such as washing your hands and taking a shower.
If you really want to reduce your energy use, you need to change the flow rate that comes out of your faucet. The flow rate determines how much water comes out of your faucet when it is in the one-position. It does not directly control the level of pressure though; the level of pressure is controlled more through how the top of your faucet is set up to disperse water.
To reduce the water flow that comes out of your faucets, you can install an aerator that reduce the gallons per minute of water that flow out of the faucet. The aerator is the part at the top of your faucet where the tip is screwed on. You can change out this component without changing out your entire faucet. You can very easily purchase one at your local hardware store for a few dollars and greatly reduce the amount of water that you use out of every faucet that you install one on.
Keep in mind that you don't have to compromise on pressure just because less water is coming out of your faucet. Low-flow aerators are designed with specific hole placements to allow you to experience high water pressure while using less actual water to achieve the same effect that you were getting before. After a little while, you will not even notice the difference when washing your hands or the dishes, but you will notice the impact on your reduced energy costs.
Just make sure that you bring your old aerator with you to the hardware store when purchasing low-flow ones so you can make sure that the new one will screw onto your faucet properly just like the old one did.
The other easy way to reduce your energy costs associated with your water heater is by installing a showerhead that uses less water as well. Once again, you will not have to sacrifice the feeling of pressure when you save water. Low-flow shower heads mix together air with water to create the same feeling of high pressure that you enjoyed before from your showers. You will still feel just as wet and get just as clean, without using as much water. The opening in the shower head will be strategically placed to allow you to get the high level of pressure you crave when you take a shower without the high use of water.
Installing a low-flow shower head can be more labor intensive than switching out the aerators on your faucets, depending on the set-up that you have in place. You may be able to just unscrew the old showerhead and screw a new showerhead in its place. However, depending on how old your showerhead is, you may need the assistance of a plumber to change out the shower head and install a new one.
By taking the two simple sets above, you can greatly reduce the amount of water that your household uses on a daily basis, which will help greatly decrease your energy costs that are associated with your water heater. Talk to your local plumber about using less water in your home by installing aerators and low-flow shower heads today. The upfront costs are low and you'll benefit via long-term energy savings.