Water heaters consume much of their energy just to keep a supply of hot water ready and waiting in the tank. The heat gradually leaks out of the tank until the heater turns on again to heat the water back up. To minimize this heat loss, ready-made kits for insulating water heaters and hot water pipes are available at hardware stores and building supply stores. Your utility company may also provide these at a discounted cost or offer a rebate on your purchase. Be careful not to cover the thermostat when insulating your water heater and always follow manufacturer's instructions.
During construction, soil will often be without grass, trees, shrubs, and other plants. Without this protective vegetation, storms can move the soil into your neighbor’s yard, clog storm drains and streams, and carry pesticides and nutrients into the water. To prevent erosion, cover these bare areas with mulch, such as straw, grass clippings, stones, wood chips, and other protective cover. On steeper slopes, you should cover the mulch with burlap netting for extra protection. Vegetated and mulched areas increase water filtration into the soil, reducing erosive runoff water.