Owning a house might be expensive. Along with property taxes and mortgages, there are big maintenance projects and minor repairs here and there, energy costs and mounting water bills. It is frustrating when it gets out of hand and as a homeowner you need to take care of it all. However, there are some things you can do to facilitate changes at your home that would help you cut down on some expenses and save money as a result. One of such big issues is water consumption. If you’ve noticed over a couple of months that your water bill has been gradually climbing, it may be time to consider ways to conserve water and take action.
Read on to find out about efficient ways that would help you reduce water costs at your home.
- Check your home appliances for water leaks or have a professional come and do it for you.
Hidden water leaks are the trickiest “stealers” of your water and money. Watch out for leaks and drips, because they accumulate pretty fast over time. Toilets, faucets and dishwashers are most susceptible to springing leaks. If there is a need, replace your old water-wasting appliances with ones that have higher water efficiency.
Savings: 20 gallons per leak every day
- Use Your Dishwasher
Did you know that washing dishes by hand can consume more water than washing the same amount of dishes in a dishwasher? The average dishwasher uses 6 gallons of water per cycle, while water typically flows from your faucet at a rate of 2 gallons in a minute. If you could hand-wash dishes in 3 minutes, the dishwasher is not needed, otherwise make a good use of this appliance!
Also make it your habit not to pre-rinse dishes (just scrape food from plates) and only run the dishwasher when it is fully loaded.
- Check your toilets for leaks or install low-flow toilets (or convert your current ones).
This will significantly reduce the amount of water these household items use. If purchasing a new toilet is more than you can afford, you can achieve the same effect by adding weights to the toilet tank (like used soda bottles filled with sand or marbles).
Savings: 2-5 gallons per flush.
When the time comes to replace your toilet, substitute it with a low-flow model that uses 1.6 gallons per flush in comparison with a conventional model, which uses 3.6 gallons per flush.
- Install faucet aerators if you don’t have them.
A faucet aerator attaches to the faucet head and adds air into the water stream, functioning like a sieve to reduce the amount of water coming through the faucet head and making the water flow more forceful. The faucet aerator also helps to compress water that flows through, therefore increasing water pressure. It’s a win-win situation – increased performance and money.
Note: If you have a newer faucet, it may already have a built-in aerator.
Savings:17-27 gallons a day.
- Don’t use the disposal
This might sound unacceptable for some homeowners, but stop using your garbage disposal so often. Just throw food waste in the trash. It is a water-free option.
- Install a low-flow shower head
Low-flow showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute (gpm); older models use up to 5.5 gpm. Install a low-flow shower head and you’ll reduce your water bill by 25-60%.
- Take shorter showers instead of taking baths
Sometimes it is enough to take 5-10 min showers. If you have a low-flow showerhead, you’ll use 12.5 gallons of water or less. Compare that to 37.5 gallons for a 15-minute shower, and the saving is obvious.
Also it takes approximately 35 gallons of water to fill the average bathtub. Take a five-minute shower with a low-flow showerhead instead, and you’ll save 22.5 gallons each time!
So we’ve discussed some of the most efficient ways to reduce water costs at your home. However, it is always a good idea to have a professional come to your home and help find leaks or other small issues that may be the result of your mounting water bill. Have our experts from Norwalk/La Mirada Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning come to your property and do this inspection for you.