With the new year comes new goals, aspirations, and resolutions. If saving money is on your to-do list for 2019, there’s no better place to start than with your water bill. Many homeowners may not realize the amount of money they literally flush down the drain when it comes to their water usage. With the average American home using 100 gallons of water per day, water-saving initiatives can add up in a big way. Here are three tips you can use to trim down your water bill and save in 2019.
From dripping faucets to running toilets, plumbing leaks of all sizes can waste gallons upon gallons of water every day. This waste can add up quickly—in fact, one leaking faucet can cost you up to $35 a year on top of your normal water bills.
Sometimes, the cause of a leak is as simple as a loose screw or an older pipe. While you’re troubleshooting the cause of a leak, or waiting for a plumber to come fix it, you can stop further water waste with quick DIY fixes. The smallest leaks can be stopped by wrapping the leaking area with duct tape, while larger leaks are easily addressed with epoxy putty or pipe wraps.
It may seem obvious, but one of the best ways to reduce your water bill is to use less water in the first place. This may sound easier said than done, but even the smallest changes in your day-to-day routine can make a big impact.
One easy way to save water in the shower is to turn off the water while you lather up your hair, or while shaving. You can fill up a few cups of water before turning off the shower if you need to rinse your razor or re-wet your hair. Then, once you’re done, you can turn the water back on. This method saves a significant amount of water as the shower won’t be running when it doesn’t need to be.
Another way to save water every time you shower is to focus on getting in and getting out quickly. Reducing the time of your shower by just four minutes can save nearly 4,000 gallons of water a year. To keep track of time, consider setting a timer or an alarm to remind you when it’s time to wrap things up.
Washing dishes and doing laundry are two of the most water-intensive household chores. Changing up some common habits can help you save a significant amount of water, which will in turn save you a significant amount of money.
First and foremost, to reduce your laundry room water usage, you’ll need to reduce the amount of laundry loads you do. Washing a full load of laundry is far more water-efficient than washing two or three smaller loads throughout the week. Try to set aside a dedicated “laundry day” and wash everything then. If you must wash a smaller load, take advantage of your washer’s “small load” setting if it has one. Pre-treating stains before a wash can also save water since you won’t need to rely on a heavy cycle to scrub them away.
Contrary to what you may assume, hand-washing dishes actually uses more water than using the dishwasher. The math behind this is simple. The average dishwasher uses six gallons of water per cycle, and water tends to flow from a faucet at a rate of two gallons per minute. So, if it takes you longer than three minutes to wash your dishes, it’s best to just use the dishwasher.
Starting off the new year with new energy-efficient appliances and fixtures can significantly lower your water bill. As more and more homeowners shift their focus to energy-efficiency, many manufacturers have made it a priority. From washing machines to shower heads, today’s appliances and plumbing fixtures use less water and less energy while still delivering the results you need.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your dishwasher or replace your aging shower heads, look for the ENERGY STAR label to ensure that you’re getting the most environmentally-friendly and cost-effective solution. This government program, started in 1992, is dedicated to educating consumers about which appliances and fixtures can help them save money and the environment. Products that earn the ENERGY STAR label need to meet stringent standards in order to guarantee their efficiency. In addition, there are many tax credits, discounts, and special savings to incentivize homeowners and make it easy to switch to ENERGY STAR appliances.
Low-flow shower heads and faucets can help you save a considerable amount on your monthly water bill. These water-saving devices are designed to maintain the same amount of water pressure while using far less water than traditional fixtures. In fact, some low-flow fixtures can save as much as 2 gallons a minute. The best part is, low-flow fixtures aren’t necessary more expensive than traditional ones, and they’re just as easy to install.
You can save nearly 13,000 gallons of water a year by upgrading to a high-efficiency toilet. This translates to major water bill savings. With strategic design and the latest plumbing technology, high-efficiency toilets rely on gravity or vacuum mechanisms to use less water while still washing away waste. A high-efficiency toilet uses 1.28 gallons per flush, which is far less than traditional toilets, that can use anywhere from 1.6 to 3.5 gallons per flush.
If you’re not ready to upgrade your toilet, you can still save water and money with your existing toilet. One way to do so is by hanging a tank insert in your toilet’s tank. These inexpensive and mold-resistant products reduce the amount of water you use per flush. For an even cheaper solution, you can use plastic water bottles for the the same water-saving effect. Take an empty 1-2-liter bottle and place a few rocks in it to weigh it down. Then, fill the bottle with water and put it in your toilet tank. Just like a tank insert, the bottle will reduce the amount of water that’s needed to fill the tank, which will reduce the amount of water that gets flushed.
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