At Home with Lisa: Shower Timer

I don’t know about you, but my morning shower is as important as my morning cup of coffee. If I don’t get a shower first thing, I’m just not ready to take on the day.

I was looking through Avista’s updated Energy Guide this week and I noticed their section on water heating.

Over the past several months, I have installed a new, low-flow showerhead and I’ve set my water heater to 120 degrees.

One thing I haven’t done is monitor how long my showers are. According to the Energy Guide, showers should be about five minutes long.

And it’s not just about saving water, or conserving the energy needed to heat it. Shorter showers can be better for your skin, especially in the winter. A long steamy shower can actually dry out your skin.

You can buy valves that connect to your plumbing to actually shut off the hot water after so many minutes, but they can run upwards of $200 and I’m a little nervous about messing around with my plumbing for anything more than replacing a washer or a showerhead.

I also found a showerhead online that includes a digital display. It will show you the water temperature and the number of gallons you have used during your shower. It was around $40, and shower heads are super easy to replace.

But if you want to just make it simple or not spend a lot of money, you can set a timer on your phone or buy a cheap timer.

This week, I tested out a five-minute shower and weather it could work for me. In five minutes, I can get washed and shampooed, and still have a little time to just stand under the hot water to wake up.

My low-flow showerhead uses anywhere from 1.35 to 1.8 gallons of water a minute. A five-minute shower means I’m only using about seven to nine gallons a shower.

It’s a small change, but it’s doable.

Lisa, an Avista customer, bought her 1910 house because she loved the old-world character, some of which doesn’t make her house very energy efficient. Lisa is sharing her experience on taking some simple do-it-yourself improvements to inspire others to do the same. You’ll find her stories right here every Tuesday.

Read Avista's Energy Guide for more energy saving tips.

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  1. At Home with Lisa
  2. Energy Saving