If you use your home heating oil to heat the hot water for your shower, bath or kitchen sink then you’ll know just how crucial it is to have a steady supply of oil in the tank – cold showers are never nice, even in the summer. But how do you ensure you make the most of your hot water without wasting home heating oil, and money in the process? If your household has several people in it, you’ll know only too well how easily those energy bills can creep up, so here’s our best tips on improving your hot water efficiency at home so you can make more of your oil.
Use less hot water
Seems obvious, but to save money on your hot water bills try cutting down on the amount of hot water you are using. This could include appliance upgrades, like switching your shower head to a low flow version so that you use less water when you shower, reducing how often you take baths in favour of showers, and reducing the length of time you spend in the shower.
Insulate hot water tank and pipes
Keep the hot water hot, by insulating your hot water tank and the visible hot water pipes to reduce the amount of heat wasted. You spend money on home heating oil to heat your water, for it to be stored in the hot water tank, and if you don’t use it all then it just goes to waste – hardly efficient. In doing this, you’ll find your hot water lasts longer, and you don’t have to waste even more energy to re-heat this water when you go to take a shower or bath.
Manage the temperature with the thermostat
Can you turn the temperature of your water down slightly? If you find you’re always having to add cold water to your shower to make the temperature more bearable, then it’s likely that your thermostat temperature is set too high for your water. Turning it down will not only help you save money, but it’s likely to be safer too.
If you need to wash a few dishes, would it be cheaper to boil the kettle to do the dishes than run the heating? When doing the dishes, it’s always more efficient to have a basin of hot water than to let the hot tap run constantly – you’re literally washing money down the drain.
Replacing your hot water tank
If you are making some upgrades to your heating system and you decide that it’s time you replaced your water tank there are a few things you should consider before you buy, aside from cost of course:
- Size: Consider your household’s peak-hour hot water demand to determine the right size for you and to ensure you’ll have enough hot water when you need it.
- Recovery efficiency: How efficiently is the heat from the home heating oil transferred to the water?
- Standby losses: How much heat is lost per hour from the stored hot water?
- Maintenance: Upkeep of your hot water tank will differ depending on whether your live in an area with hard or soft water. You should also fix any leaks straight away as this is costing you money and wasting hot water.