Posted on: 19.08.2015.
Author: Ana G
Many households find their water use increases during the summer months. Summer typically means more laundry, drinking more cold water, and more lawn watering. All of these factors can cause your water bill to spike.
The following are steps you can take to reduce your water usage, save money, and reduce your impact on the environment.
We use water in the kitchen for everything from cooking to cleaning, often without giving it a second thought; however, changing how you use water in the kitchen can save you money.
Use your dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand. You can use up to 27 gallons of water when washing dishes by hand. This amount could be even higher if you leave the water running as you wash. High-efficiency dishwashers may use as little as 6 gallons of water per cycle.
You can reduce water consumption by not pre-rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Simply scrape excess food into the trash or compost and let the dishwasher handle the rest. If you feel that you must pre-rinse, do the rinsing in a tub filled with water instead of letting the faucet run continuously.
You should make sure you only run the dishwasher with a full load. It is also important to make sure you use the proper settings on your dishwasher. In most cases, pre-rinse, heavy-duty, and extra rinse cycles are unnecessary and waste water.
You can reduce water use by installing an aerator on your faucets. Aerators use air bubbles to reduce water flow without losing water pressure. Aerators may reduce your water use by as much as four percent.
Avoid running your tap until the water gets cold. Instead, keep a pitcher of cold water in the refrigerator or use ice cubes to cool your drink.
You can warm water on the stove or in the microwave instead of running the tap. You should be very careful when doing this since it can be difficult to judge the temperature of the water this way.
You should avoid rinsing vegetables under running water. Instead, rinse veggies in a pan partially filled with water.
Plan ahead so you can defrost foods in the refrigerator instead of under running water. If you do run short on time, try defrosting for a few minutes in the microwave.
You should avoid using the garbage disposal. Most disposals require you to run the water for at least 30 seconds to completely flush the waste down the drain. Composting is a water-free option for disposing of food waste.
The bathroom is the source of the majority of water waste in the average home. A few simple changes can have a significant impact on your water bill.
Encourage your family to take showers instead of baths. The average bath will use as much as 35 gallons of water, whereas the typical shower will use about one-third of that amount.
You should try to limit showers to no more than five minutes. A family of four can save up to 100 gallons of water a day by reducing shower time from 15 to five minutes and using a low-flow shower head.
You should consider switching your old shower head for a new low-flow model. Low-flow shower heads typically use about half the water of standard models and can save you 25 to 60 percent on your water bill.
Make sure you repair any leaky faucets. Even a small drip can waste up to 10,000 gallons of water in a year.
Add aerators to your bathroom faucets to reduce your water consumption. The device mixes air bubbles with the water to give you the same level of water pressure while reducing the flow.
You can save hundreds of gallons of water each year by turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth, wash your face, or shave. You can turn the water back on when necessary or use a cup of water to rinse your teeth or razor.
Make sure you repair or replace a leaky toilet right away. A leaky toilet can waste up to 500 gallons of water a day.
Consider replacing your old toilet with a new high-efficiency model. Modern low-flow toilets typically use less than half the water of standard toilets.
Make sure you replace the flapper in your toilet annually. When you replace your flapper, look for one that will allow you to adjust the flush volume. An adjustable flapper can save as much as three gallons of water per flush.
If you are not in a position to upgrade your toilet, you can still save water by putting a plastic bottle filled with water and a couple of pebbles inside the tank. The bottle will displace the water in the tank so you will use less water per flush.
Summer usually means extra laundry; however, there are ways you can reduce the amount of water you use washing your family’s clothes.
Make sure you only do laundry when you have a full load. Running a full washer with cold water will save on time, energy, and water.
You may want to upgrade your washer. Older models use about 40 gallons of water per load compared to 25 gallons with new high-efficiency models.
When buying a washer, look for one that allows you to choose the water level. A push of a button will let you use the exact amount of water needed for a particular load.
You can save money by recycling water already being used around the home and improving the efficiency of your hot water system.
You can reduce your water bill by utilizing your family’s greywater. Greywater is water leftover from drinking, cooking, or bathing. Most of the water can be recycled to flush toilets, water plants, or even wash your car.
Inexpensive foam insulation on your pipes can save energy and reduce water usage. The insulation prevents heat loss through the pipes and allows the water to heat up faster. You will waste less water waiting for the tap to get warm.
You may consider adding a hot water recirculating system. The system uses a pump to pull hot water from the tank and returns cool water from the pipes to the water heater for more efficient heating.
A new water heater can also help you reduce your water bill. Energy efficient tankless hot water heaters use 20 percent less energy than traditional models. These “on-demand” hot water systems heat water quickly and only when it is needed.
Keeping your lawn green during the heat of summer can be challenging and expensive. Here are a few ways to stay green without spending too much green.
Make sure you only water your lawn and garden when they need it. Most people overwater, which wastes water. Overwatering also causes shallow root growth, which is not good for the plants.
You should avoid watering during the heat of the day or when it is windy to prevent excess evaporation. The best time to water is before sunrise. Watering early in the day allows water to penetrate into the ground before the midday heat.
Try watering your lawn in several short sessions instead of one long session. Frequent watering will allow the water to absorb better and reduce runoff.
You should make sure you water your plants so that the water penetrates several inches into the soil. Deep watering allows the water to soak the entire root zone instead of just the surface. Proper watering encourages deeper root growth and prevents excess evaporation.
Make sure your sprinkler system works and sprinkler heads are positioned correctly. You want to make sure you are watering your lawn, not the driveway or sidewalk.
You can reduce the amount of water you use on your lawn by looking for ways to preserve the natural moisture. For example, you can leave grass clippings on the lawn to serve as a water-retaining mulch.
You can use drip irrigation to water your gardens and shrubs. A drip irrigation system will allow water to soak deeper into the soil so you will lose less to evaporation.
Aerating is important if you have clay soil. Aerating will prevent runoff and help the soil retain moisture.
You can use rain barrels to capture runoff from downspouts. The water is free, and you can use it to water your lawn or wash your car.
Make sure you landscape with native and drought-resistant plants. These plants will be adapted to your climate and will require the least amount of watering. You should also group your plants according to their watering needs. For example, place drought-tolerant plants farthest from the house and water guzzlers in one area closer to the house for easier watering.
You should always cover your pool when it is not in use. An uncovered pool can lose up to 1000 gallons per month due to evaporation.
You should avoid using the water hose to clean garages, sidewalks, and driveways. A broom will remove debris just as effectively.
If you are going to be away from home for more than a day, make sure to turn off the outside water supply or put locks on the faucets. This will prevent someone from turning them on while you are away.
Washing your car at the car wash can save you hundreds of gallons of water. If you do choose to wash at home, make sure you do not leave the water running the whole time. If there is a gentle rain, you can leave your car outside and take advantage of nature’s free car wash.
Reducing your water use does not have to be time-consuming or complicated. A few simple steps can save you money and conserve a valuable resource.