Tips for Home Water Efficiency
Have you noticed your water bill creeping higher lately? It’s not your imagination. Between ongoing drought and/or failing infrastructure in many areas of the country, the cost of water is rising faster than the rate of inflation. An average increase in water prices of 5.5 percent per year is hitting many homeowners directly in the pocketbook — which is one reason water conservation at home is becoming a priority nationwide.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to reduce your water consumption without compromising your quality of life. Let’s take a look at a few water-saving tips for your home.
First, Find and Eliminate Leaks in Your Home Water System
Leaks not only can waste a lot of water, they can also cause untold damage to your home. Leaks can range from outright flooding to very slow seepage that allows moisture to collect and promotes the growth of mold. Leaks can happen anywhere in your water system. If undetected or uncorrected, they can siphon a lot of money out of your pocket — just one faucet dripping five times per minute will waste nearly 350 gallons per year, and the cost to remediate water damage can easily rise into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Some common leak locations include faucets and valves, faulty gaskets, running toilets, and leaks in the whole house humidifier. You can also lose a lot of domestic water outside, through leaks in your irrigation system, pool, or fountain, or leaks in the water supply line from the street main to the house. These underground leaks may go undetected for years. If you know how to read your water meter, you can check for the presence of undetected leaks by watching for movement in the meter when no water is running in the home. Also, the DROP has home protection products which can alert you to leaks automatically.
7 More Ways to Conserve Water at Home
Once your leaks are under control, you can greatly reduce your water bill by implementing responsible water use practices in your home. Here are some to consider:
- Install low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucets.
- Replace old dishwashers, washing machines, and other appliances with new, water-efficient versions. Look for the WaterSense label when you shop.
- Wait to do laundry or dishes until you have enough for a full load.
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or scrubbing your hands. Many people who are serious about water conservation at home will even turn off the shower while lathering.
- Take shorter showers. Even shaving a minute or two off your shower time can add up to significant savings over the course of a year.