While you should make energy efficiency a priority every day of the year, give special attention to your conservation efforts on January 10, which is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day. This is the day to learn about and implement ways to save energy at home every day.
Perhaps when you think of energy efficiency you think about ways to save on heating and air conditioning. However, water conservation is a huge consideration, too. After all, water heating alone accounts for about 18% of a home’s energy bills, not to mention the cost of water and sewage you also pay for monthly. Use these tips to cut your water bills year round.
In the Kitchen
If you have a new, high-performance dishwasher, avoid pre-rinsing dishes before loading them. Energy-efficient dishwashers use less water than washing dishes by hand with an open tap. Only run the dishwasher when it’s full.
If you choose to hand-wash dishes, don’t let the water run. Fill one side of the sink with wash water and the other side with rinse water. Let pots and pans soak instead of running water while you scrub.
Designate one glass as your drinking glass for the day or use a water bottle. This decreases the number of cups you must wash at the end of the day. Also, keep a pitcher of drinking water in the fridge so you don’t have to wait for tap water to get icy cold.
In the Bathroom
Install low-flow showerheads can shorten your showers by two minutes to save hundreds of gallons per month. Turn off the water while lathering your hair and body to conserve even more.
Install aerated faucets and turn off the water when you brush your teeth. Plug the sink and rinse your razor in the pool instead of running water while shaving.
Test your toilet for leaks once a year – how about on January 10? Put food coloring in the tank, wait 15 minutes, and see if the color seeps into the bowl. If so, you need to fix the leak. If you replace your toilet, consider a WaterSense-labeled, dual-flush model.
In the Laundry Room
Match the batch size to the water level. Wash dark clothes in cold water for energy efficiency and to help the clothing retain its color. Reuse your towels a time or two before laundering them.
When shopping for a new washing machine, consider an Energy Star model, which can conserve up to 20 gallons per load.
Check outdoor faucets, pipes, connectors and hoses for leaks and fix them promptly. Collect rain water from the roof and direct the runoff to water plants and trees.
Don’t overwater your grass. Aim for once every three days, depending on your climate and weather conditions. You know it’s time to water when the blades don’t spring back up after you walk on them. Water dry spots by hand instead of running the entire irrigation system.
Check for broken sprinkler heads regularly and ensure you’re watering the grass, not the sidewalk. Water your lawn in the early hours of the morning to reduce evaporation. Shut off automatic sprinklers when it’s raining.
Plant trees and shrubs native to your area. Prune them properly to help the plants use water more efficiently. Group trees and shrubs together according to their watering needs, and cover the ground with mulch to help with moisture retention. Install a drip irrigation system to direct water to the roots where it’s needed.
Water conservation and improved energy efficiency at home is easier than you thought! For more great ideas, contact A-1 PLUMBING AND DRAINS LTD today.