When working on the household budget, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your monthly utilities. Every region and individual home will have a unique usage pattern for water, power, gas, and internet. This will vary with the seasons as we turn up the AC or the heat, shower more or less often, and change how we cook. However, once you get a feel for what a utility bill should be, it’s always tempting to try and lower that number. Little things like turning off lights and fixing drippy faucets can save you a few cents each day but with careful attention and a few plumbing tips, you can notably reduce your yearly water bill without cutting down on washer loads or showers.
1) Watch the Water Meter
One of the first things you should learn to do is watch your water meter. This is usually located somewhere outside your home attached to an exterior wall. It measures how much water your home uses from the municipal water supply and is what determines your bill. If the water meter continues to tick slowly up even when you’re not using any water, this can indicate a problematic leak and the cause of any unexpectedly high water bills.
2) Install Low-Flow Faucets
There are several different ways to reduce the flow of a faucet and the most popular is simple aeration which slows the flow of water and mixes it with air. This spreads out the water droplets into a spray that can wash hands and dishes just as well as a concentrated flow of water without using nearly as much. You can also find low-flow shower heads which will reduce the amount of water you use per minute showering but won’t diminish the quality of the showering experience.
3) Two-Mode Commodes
Low-flow toilets are fantastic. They help save water on all those little flushes but sometimes you need a full-force old fashioned flush to make sure everything goes down or to solve a mild clogging problem. To accommodate both styles, get a two-mode toilet. Most of the time it will flush at the low-flow rate saving water every time. Then, if you need a classic flush all you have to do is hold the handle down a little longer.
4) Update Your Water Heater
Most homes have a water heater installed when they’re built and few homeowners even remember to get their water heaters maintained. For the most part, we don’t notice the water heater at all unless it starts to fail. however, it is an important appliance and an integral part of your plumbing infrastructure. The more modern water heaters are safer, more energy efficient, and haven’t been sitting unmaintained in a house for five to fifteen years. Have your water heater maintenanced at the very least and consider updating to a newer, more efficient model.
5) Adapt the Washer Settings
Finally, the way you use your water-based appliances matters as to how much water they take up per load. Both the dishwasher and the clothes washer respond to the modes you select before hitting ‘start’. The next time you’re loading a washer, consider sorting the contents to wash with exactly the settings you need. Small loads, if indicated, will use less water while cold loads will use less power. Make sure the dishwasher is arranged so that everything can be sprayed and try to run it as full as possible. The clothes washer, on the other hand, should run sorted loads at about medium capacity so there’s room for agitation and tumbling. It also helps to use the right soap in the correct amounts as well.
The way you treat your plumbing strongly effects your water bill. Efficient faucets and appliances are the key to a leak-free and low-flow system that’s enjoyable and effective to live with. For more money saving plumbing tips, contact us today!