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Boilers or storage water heaters are often set to heat water to unnecessarily high temperatures given that the temperature of the average shower is only about 37°C. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends that hot water outlets distribute water temperatures of 50-60°C, but this all depends on the size of your home. A smaller home will get away with setting the boiler to about 55°C. If you have a hot water cylinder, on the other hand, you must not set the temperature to any lower than 60°C to control the risk from bacteria growth like Legionella. If your hot water cylinder is installed in an unheated or poorly insulated room, be sure to insulate the walls of the water heater as well as the pipework.
A shower taken using a classic shower head will use around 15 litres a minute, or 75 litres for a 5 minute shower. Over a week, this accounts for 525 litres. Over the course of a year, this adds up to 27,375 litres of water, or 27 cubic metres. Multiply this figure by the number of people in the home and this quickly amounts to over 100 m3 of hot water a year for a family of four. Using a water saving shower head can cut down consumption by as much as 50%. You can also fit your shower with a shut-off valve if you have a shower mixing valve and replace your old flush with a water-saving model.
Installing an aerator on a classic mixer tap could help to reduce water consumption by 30 to 70%.
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