How to Practice Energy Conservation While Enjoying Long Hot Showers
I love taking long, luxurious hot showers. There’s nothing more relaxing than feeling the warm water cascade over my body after a long day. However, I also want to do my part to conserve energy and use resources responsibly. Here are some tips I’ve learned to cut down on energy use while still enjoying steaming hot showers:
Take Shorter Showers
The most impactful way to reduce energy usage is to simply spend less time in the shower. I’ve trained myself to finish up in 5-7 minutes instead of lingering for 15+ minutes like I used to.
- Set a timer or use a shower song to keep your shower short and focused.
- Stick to just washing and rinsing without letting your mind wander.
- Skip the idle time of just standing under the stream. Get in, get clean, and get out!
Taking shorter showers has made the biggest difference in my energy savings. I’ve proven to myself I can get clean in less time while still enjoying the hot water.
Install Water-Saving Fixtures
Upgrading to water-efficient showerheads and faucets conserves hot water and the energy needed to heat it.
- Low-flow showerheads use 1.5-2 gallons per minute instead of the standard 2.5-5 gallons.
- WaterSense labeled models ensure excellent performance.
- Adjustable showerheads let you decrease flow as needed.
- Faucet aerators introduce air to maintain perceived pressure while reducing flow.
Installing these inexpensive fixtures cuts my hot water usage in half while keeping water pressure strong. I get the same great shower experience using far fewer resources.
Take Navy Showers
A “Navy shower” refers to briefly wetting down, turning off the water while lathering up, then rinsing off. I’ve adopted this habit to limit the time the water’s running.
- Get wet at the start, then turn off the shower.
- Lather up thoroughly with soap and shampoo.
- Rinse with the water back on.
Taking Navy showers cuts my shower water usage by 2/3 while still letting me luxuriate in the warm suds. I also installed a shower timer that keeps the water off unless I press a button. This setup incentivizes me to keep rinsing time short.
Lower the Temperature
Heating water is one of the biggest energy users for showering. I realized I didn’t need to keep my shower at full blast boiling temperature.
- Start with warm instead of hot and see if you adjust.
- Lower your water heater thermostat to 120°F / 48°C.
- Install a thermostatic mixer valve to control maximum temp.
Dropping my shower temperature just 10°F significantly reduced the energy needed for water heating. I found I acclimated quickly while still getting clean and comfortable.
With some simple adjustments, I’ve made my shower routine way more energy efficient while still enjoying hot, relaxing showers. Focusing on shower length, installing fixtures, taking Navy showers, and lowering the temperature have made a big difference. A few small changes can add up to major energy savings over time!