Sometimes there’s nothing more soothing than a nice hot bath. But, that comfort comes at a cost. Natural Resources Canada estimates that as much as 20 per cent of your home’s energy consumption goes to hot water heating. How can you reduce your hot water bill, other than by cutting out those luxurious baths? For starters, make a conscious effort to use less hot water. Yes, you could have a hot shower instead of a hot bath. But you can also fix any leaky faucets; even a slow drip can eat up gallons of water a day. Install low-flow shower heads that may reduce water consumption by half. Set your washing machine to use warm water instead of hot and use a laundry detergent specifically designed for lower temperatures. Minimize heat loss around the heater by insulating any exposed hot water pipes. Should you wrap your hot water heater in an insulating blanket? These should be avoided on gas water heaters where there is risk of interfering with the pilot light and vents. Even on electric units, water heater blankets are often of no practical value on newer models that are already well insulated. You can also save money by simply turning down the thermostat on your water heater to 49 degrees. This also reduces the risk of scalding, particularly if you have young children or the elderly in your home gabapentin medication. However, a caution is in order. The bacteria that causes Legionnaires Disease can flourish in water heaters set below 60 C. It may be wiser to leave the thermostat of the heater set at 60 degrees and to install a mixing valve to keep the water reaching your faucets at a safe temperature. Modern hot water heaters require little maintenance, but you should periodically drain and flush the tank to remove sediment that reduces efficiency. For additional advice, or to purchase a newer, more efficient hot water heater, call Oosterveld Heating and Air Conditioning at 519-837-2351 or visit our website at www.oosterveldheating.com.