It’s always important to consider how much water we are using – not only to save money but also for the environmental impact. According to the EPA, we are looking at water shortages throughout the United States in the coming years. If we look into more water-efficient appliances and practices, most households could reduce their water usage by 20%. On average, we spend over $1,000 a year on water bills, but this number could be reduced to $620 if households invested in more efficient products, like WaterSense labeled fixtures and ENERGY STAR appliances, as well as being more mindful when using water in general. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to reduce your monthly water bill, for the good of your wallet and the good of the environment.
- Check for leaks – toilets, faucets, and pipes can all be a source of leaking. Not only can this waste water and money, but it can also damage your home. Pipes are usually hidden so it can be tricky to know if they are leaking. Pay attention to musty odors or dampness. Take a look at the pipes under your sink or exposed in your basement while the faucet is running to see if there is any dripping. If a faucet drips when in the ‘off’ position, it may need to be replaced. If you think your toilet is leaking, you can put a few drops of food coloring in the tank (the top part where the flusher is, not the bowl). Check back in 30 minutes and if the color has changed, there is a pretty good chance you have a leak somewhere. Contact Drain Wizard to deal with any leaks that you may have before they become a much bigger, much more expensive issue.
- Shorter showers – Most showers use about 2.5 gallons of water every minute. So if you take a 10-minute shower, that is 25 gallons of water. Taking a 10+ minute shower uses a lot of water so try to limit yourself to only indulging once or twice a week. If you are not into shortening your shower, look into efficient shower heads or flow restrictors. These will reduce the amount of water you use, while still giving good flow and good pressure and all the parts we love about a good shower. If you aren’t sure what to look for with these restrictors or efficient heads, get in touch with Drain Wizard – we are happy to make recommendations.
- Turn off the faucet – many times we don’t think about how much water goes down the drain when we brush our teeth, wash hands or dishes, or shave. By turning off the faucet, you can save a considerable amount. A newer running faucet uses about 1.5 gallons of water, but older faucets use more. So, wet your toothbrush, turn off the faucet, brush, and then turn it on to rinse. Don’t let it run while brushing.
- Full loads only – when running appliances like your dishwasher or clothes washing machine, it is best to wait until you have a full load. Dishwashers usually use less water than you would washing dishes by hand. By filling the dishwasher, you are maximizing the efficiency of the water and energy used to clean the dishes. Whether you run a full load or a half load, the dishwasher is still using pretty much the same amount of energy and water, so the more dishes you can fit, the better efficiency you will have. If you have a smaller dishwasher, it is still more efficient to run multiple loads, instead of washing by hand. So consider running it during dinner to take care of all the dishes from the day, and then run it again with your dinner plates and cookware. The same goes for your washing machine, it is most efficient when a full load of laundry is done. Most machines use about 30 to 35 gallons of water per cycle, so the fewer loads you do, the more water and energy you will save.
- Smart landscaping – another great way to conserve water and reduce your monthly bill is to think about more conservative landscaping. According to the EPA, the average American family uses about 320 gallons a day, and 30% of that goes toward landscaping, gardening, and other outdoor uses. So that’s about 100 gallons a day that we use for our lawns and gardens. By designing a more water-efficient yard, your home can look great and save water. Some great water-efficient choices when selecting trees or bushes for your landscaping include: the coast live oak, the canyon live oak, the common hackberry, the toyon, blue gum eucalyptus, western redbud, and the toyon. If you aren’t ready to add to your landscaping, you can make use of mulch to conserve water. Adding a layer of mulch prevents water from evaporating quickly and also stops weeds from growing. To be most effective, you should have a layer of 3 to 4 inches of mulch.
Give Drain Wizard a call today!! We love helping our customers save money and become more energy efficient.