Your dishwasher, your washing machine, and your shower: you use these amenities just about every day, and they all have at least one thing in common – they use hot water. If you own a tank water heater, did you know that it uses energy not simply to heat the water as you are using it, but also when you are not using it? This results in wasted energy and wasted money as well.
Reduce your household water usage and you’ll save money on your utility bills, reduce water pollution in nearby lakes and rivers, and extend the life of your septic tank. You can cut your water usage by 25 percent by doing a few things a bit differently with your home appliances that use water.
Toilets use a lot of water, up to 27 percent of a household water usage. Here’s how you can reduce that number:
- Check for leaks. A leak can cause the loss of more than 100 gallons of water per day. Water rippling in your toilet bowl is a sure sign of a leak. Put a few drops of food coloring in your tank and if the dye appears in the toilet bowl without flushing, there’s a leak.
- Don’t use the toilet as a trash can. Every flush uses up several gallons of water.
- Reduce the amount of water in your toilet tank. Put in a bottle of water, away from anymoving mechanisms, to take up some space in the tank.
- Replace your toilet with an energyefficient one.This can reduce the amount of waterused significantly, going from five to seven gallons to only 1.6 gallons per flush.
You probably already know that shorter showers are better and that a shower uses less water than a bath. Here’s what else you can do to save water in the shower:
- Install a new shower head or a flow restrictor. These can reduce your shower flow from five to ten gallons per minute to only three gallons per minute.
- Get a tankless water heaterto heat up your water faster so you don’t have to run the shower for a few minutes to get it warm.
Kitchen and Bathroom FaucetsFaucets in the kitchen and bathroom are used multiple times daily, making them sources of potential water waste. Cut down on water usage by trying these simple tips:
- Don’t let the water run. Whether you’re brushing your teeth, shaving, washing your dishes, or rinsing your vegetables, turn off the faucet and fill up a bowl, sink, or a cup with water for rinsing.
- Check your pipes and faucets for leaks. If you notice small drips from your faucets, that’s a leak that needs to be fixed. Another way to check is to look at your water meter. Turn off all your faucets and water appliances and check the meter. Wait an hour without using any water and then check again. If there’s been a change, you have a leak somewhere.
- Replace your faucet with high efficiency faucets or install a faucet aerator on every faucet.
Using the dishwasher instead of washing your dishes will save water, but here’s how you can conserve even more water:
- Run the dishwasher with a full load. Half loads uses up the same amount of water for less dishes, wasting water and energy.
- Don’t rinse plates before putting them into the dishwasher. Just remove large food pieces. Your dirty dishes will come out clean without any added rinsing.