How Can I Lower my Water Bill?
If you’re looking to lower your family’s spending, there are many ways to save money such as going out to restaurants less, buying in bulk or carpooling to work. However, many people don’t realize how much money we spend annually on water and how easy it is to cut costs. The following are a few tips on how to use less water and lower your utility bills.
Washing dishes by hand can be a lengthy, dirty, irritating experience. This is especially true if you live in a cold city like Milwaukee, Wisconsin and you’re waiting for the water to heat up. But the alternative – a dish washer – is often seen as a needless expense and a waste of water and energy. However, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, washing dishes by hand uses much more water than using a dishwasher, and you can save as much as 5,000 gallons of water or $40 annually by using a dishwasher.
If you can, cut out baths. A five-minute shower will use just a third of what it takes to fill up a bathtub. Additionally, the shorter the shower the less water you use. And you can turn off the water while you scrub or apply shampoo. You can also install low-flow shower heads that use half as much water as traditional ones.
A device called a Fill Cycle Diverter is available at local hardware stores, which can save you half a gallon each time you flush by diverting overflow water back into the tank. For a dollar, it’s well worth it. Another tip is to fill a bottle with water and place it in your toilet tank. This displaces water, thereby causing the tank to fill up with less, and save you that amount of money with each flush.
First off, you should try to do a wash with only full loads. This will cut down on the amount of loads you do and the water used, as well as lower the wear and tear on your machine. Additionally, you can try to wear clothes more than once. If it’s a sweater or a pair of pants that you didn’t sweat in or get dirty, you can wear it more than once before it needs a wash. If you’re looking into buying a new machine, a high-efficiency washer can be as much as three times more efficient than a regular washer.
There is a lot of water that we routinely waste. For example, if you have some extra water in a glass that you don’t want to drink, don’t pour it down the drain. Instead, pour it into a bucket. The same is true for when you’re starting a shower or trying to get the sink water to turn hot – as you run the water, run it into a bucket instead of the drain. You can then use the gray water you collected to wash your floor, water your plants or any other use.
If you have any leaks from faucets, toilets or pipes, be sure to contact a professional plumber. A leaky toilet can waste hundreds of gallons of water a day. If you have unexplained utility bills that you think should be lower, consider having a plumber examine your pipes for broken or loose connections, or an HVAC technician examine your heating or cooling system’s efficiency.
Mark Stevens is a writer from New Jersey who has written over 100 home improvement articles. Want to ask Mark something? Send him a message.