*Last updated on January 10, 2018.
If you’re like most people, you probably use hot, or at least warm water, to wash your hands, right? Don’t worry, we don’t blame you. Let’s be honest — who wants to wash their hands in icy cold water, especially in the middle of the winter. “Not I,” said the fly! On top of that, hot water is known for stopping germs in their tracks, too (or so you may think…).
See, we get it. We understand who so many people are so quick to crank that hot water all the way up. However, the combined energy needed to heat the water for the 800 billion hand washes occurring across the United States is equivalent to the annual energy emissions of the entire country of Barbados (seriously). That’s a lot of waste!
Does Hot Water Really Kill More Germs?
Ironically, and back to the germ-eliminating point above, we’re not even producing that energy waste at the expense of sustaining or health. Shocker! The temperature actually needed to kill off germs is above the boiling point, which would damage our skin way before cleaning it.
How Can I Cut Energy Costs?
We thought you’d never ask! Just by switching to cold or cool water for hand washing, you can save a substantial amount of energy. Pair a cool rinse with antibacterial soap and a clean hand towel, and your hands will be just as clean as is was when you used hot water instead.
Studies prove that heating water to a temperature that’s actually seldom used can waste a ton of energy. If you commit to cold-water hand washing (and maybe even cooler showers), you can also lower the maximum temperature on your water heater to about 120-degrees, which will help save energy not just in your home, but all across the country, too.
For more information about your water heater and energy efficiency, talk to Barker and Sons Plumbing & Rooter! We don’t just install new water heaters, we will help you decide what type and size are best for your home and family needs.