Monday, November 29, 2010

On Reducing Hot-Water Usage

(First post in quite awhile. Wow.)

I did some thinking in the shower this morning. The nozzle is one of those adjustable-by-twisting ones, and it appeared to be stuck in a mode that was more like a fine spray than the jet I prefer. I found as a result that I had to turn the handle to a much hotter setting than I usually do. That is to say, the hot water naturally cools down (in the cold air) before reaching my body, and the increased surface area of the finer spray caused an increased amount of heat loss. Several ideas of how to conserve hot water occurred to me just then:

  • Design a showerhead that emphasizes thick streams of water as opposed to thin ones. This would be the ideal way because it would only involve a change in the device, not in heating policy or insulation.
  • A more drastic idea is to insulate your bathroom better and keep it warmer. What I am as yet unsure of is the cost ratio of heating the air versus the water. I suspect that if the air were kept warmer, it would reduce the cost of the water, but without some kind of testing I can't say for sure.
Yay thoughts!