Save Water and Money with These Energy-Efficient Tips
Want to save some money? Here are some great tips to save water, a lot of water, and a lot of money, too!
Whether you live in an arid area that deals with drought conditions regularly or not, ways to save water and money are still always appreciated. Who doesn’t like to save money? Plus, being a good steward of the resources entrusted to us makes a person feel downright good all over.
Saving water isn’t hard to do. It just takes a bit of education, a conscious effort, and in some cases, a little money invested in proper equipment. And you can save water both inside and outside the home.
Tips to Save Water in the Laundry Room
Always wash a full load of clothes.
In the old days, not so long ago (before 2011), washers used about 40 gallons per load. Compared to today’s energy-efficient models, which may use as little as 15 gallons per load, that’s a lot of water used in those good ol’ days! For a family of 4, the average number of wash loads per week seems to be somewhere between five and ten, more or less if you do or don’t do cloth diapers and such.
If you’ve got one of those “ancient” or “outdated” washers, always adjust the water level in the washer to the amount needed for the load. Today’s energy-efficient washers adjust the water level automatically.
If you’re in the market to purchase a new washer, look for a high-efficiency washer with a low water factor, the smaller the water factor, the efficient the washer. Energy Star model clothes washers have a maximum water factor of 6.0, but there are others with even lower water factors. Again, the smaller the water factor, the more efficient the washer and the higher your savings.
Tips to Save Water in the Kitchen
Fill the sinks with soapy water and hot rinse water versus letting the water run continually or install an energy-efficient dishwasher.
If you’re in the market to purchase a new dishwasher, look for one that uses less water per cycle. By the way, dishwashers use less water than you do if you wash your dishes by hand, especially if you don’t pre-rinse your dishes.
Only wash full loads of dishes in the dishwasher.
Don’t use running water to thaw frozen foods.
Defrost your foods in the refrigerator overnight instead.
Compost food waste instead of running it through the garbage disposal.
You’ll save water by reducing the water needed to run a garbage disposal.
Tips to Save Water in the Bathroom
Fix leaking faucets.
Sixty drops of water leaked per minute equals 192 gallons wasted down the drain per month. That’s 2,304 gallons per year!
Install water-efficient faucets and/or faucet aerators.
Water-efficient faucets and aerators use a maximum of 1.5 gallons per minute. If you want to replace your faucets or aerators, look for the WaterSense label.
Turn off the faucet.
Whenever you’re washing your hands, shaving, or brushing teeth, don’t let the water run. Turn off the faucet.
Collect water in a 5-gallon bucket while waiting for the hot water to reach the shower.
Use the water collected to water houseplants, wash the dishes, or even flush a toilet.
If the flow rate of your showerhead is greater than 2.5 gallons per minute, replace it. How do you know if the flow rate of your showerhead is greater than 2.5 gallons per minute? All you need is a 1-gallon bucket and a stop watch. Catch the water from your showerhead in a 1-gallon bucket. If it takes less than 24 seconds to fill up the bucket, the showerhead flow rate is more than 2.5 gallons per minute. Simple.
Look for showerheads with WaterSense labels to save water in the shower. Water-efficient showerheads use a maximum 2 gallons per minute.
Take shorter showers.
Cutting your shower down by 5 minutes will save water, 12.5 gallons of water. That amount saved is based on a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute. You’ll save even more if the showerhead has a higher flow rate.
Replace toilets installed before 1994 with High-Efficiency Toilets (HETs).
Toilets installed before 1994 use 3.5 gallons of water per flush (gpf). Some older toilets use as much as 7 gallons per flush. HET toilets use 1.28 gpf. That’s a savings of 2.22 gpf, almost half the amount of water used per flush! Think about it. If the toilet is flushed six times each day, you’ll save 13 gallons per day or 4,745 gallons per year per person. Replace your old toilets with toilets with WaterSense labels. They use a maximum 1.28 gpf.
Make sure toilets are working properly.
A toilet that runs constantly can waste hundreds of gallons of water per day. Check the water level, the fill valve, and check for leaks.
Other Tips to Save Water and Money
Check water bills.
Water bills can indicate high water use. If your water bill shows an unusually high amount of water consumption, look for leaks. Leaking faucets, toilets, and pipes waste a lot of water.
Check your sprinkler system.
Make sure your irrigation system is set up properly and properly maintained.
- Irrigate hydro zones according to the plants’ needs for water.
- Install a weather-based SMART irrigation controller.
- Install and maintain a rain sensor. Some irrigation controllers don’t have one built in. These can be wired or wireless.
- Inspect the sprinkler heads regularly. Check for damages and make sure they are functioning properly.
- Don’t water sidewalks or driveways. Adjust sprinklers so they are watering the grass or plants only.
If you own a pool, use a cover to prevent water evaporation.
Pool covers save water and money and reduce the need for chemicals.
Sweep outdoor surfaces.
Instead of washing the dirt off with a hose, sweep outdoor surfaces with a broom.
Wash your vehicles at a carwash.
Look for a car wash that recycles its water. If you wash your vehicles at home, make sure the hose has a shut-off valve.
Call Blue Frost Heating & Cooling at (630) 444-0860 for more tips on how to save water and your cash. Your home health, comfort, and convenience matter to us. We look forward to serving you for your plumbing and HVAC needs for the lifetime of your home.
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