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  Hot Water: Your Biggest Home Energy Bite  

Your appliances that use the most electricity are mostly the ones that heat water.  Fifty gallons of water in a heater has about the same mass as all the air in an average apartment.  But the air mostly stays insulated inside, while your heated water gets used up and flushed away.  Here's how to save significant money, along with your approximate five-year savings:

Let's Get Into Hot Water Now
1. Lower the water heater to 120°. Save $145.  If your water heater thermostat is at 140°, lowering it to no more than 120° could easily save this amount.
2. Wash clothes in cold water 1, 3 or 6 times per week. Save $50, $150 or $300.  Wash clothes in cold water instead of warm water (or use warm water instead of hot). Hot water wears out clothes sooner anyway, and you can use a pre-soak instead to get better cleaning.
3. Use your dishwasher's full cycle only once per week. Save $109.  Use your dishwasher's full cycle once per week instead of daily (use the rinse mode daily instead).
4. Use a low-flow showerhead for 1, 2 or 4 showers per day. Save $375, $750 or $1,500  Showers are a big part of both your energy bill and your water bill.  These savings assume eight minutes per shower.

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