They say that if you’re happy, money shouldn’t worry you. But you’ve got three children to put through college, a mortgage to take care of, and buyer’s remorse for that barbecue grill you promised yourself you’d use everyday. Let’s be honest, you’re willing to save money wherever you can. And it’s getting a bit exhausting running from one child’s bedroom to another shutting off lights, just to save on electricity.
Well, what about tackling your water bill? No, we’re not demanding you to take shorter showers (though you should!). We’re just gently suggesting you look into some green ways to save on water at home while reducing your water bill along the way. Here are a few easy ones:
I know I said I wouldn’t, but really, you should take shorter showers. All you need to do is cut your daily showers by 4 minutes to save nearly 3650 gallons a year. That totals to about $100. Mom, you don’t need to wash your hair everyday, in fact, you shouldn’t. That’s 4 minutes right there! And dad, just because you’re in the shower doesn’t mean we all can’t hear you singing Billy Joel into the shampoo bottle. If my math is right, Piano Man is about 4 minutes as well. To get your kids in the habit of taking shorter showers, make a game out of it and reward the child who takes the shortest showers that week.
In addition to shorter showers, you can also install a low-flow shower head. And just because it’s green, doesn’t mean it’s expensive. You can purchase great low-flow showerheads for just $10 or $20. And it could save up to 50% of your shower water consumption and reduce energy consumption as well. To check if you could benefit from a low-flow showerhead, place a bucket under your showerhead and see how many seconds it takes for the bucket to hit the 1 gallon mark. If it takes less than 20 seconds, a low-flow shower head is probably in your best interest.
I bet you’ll be happy to learn that hand washing dishes actually wastes more water and energy than dishwashers. In fact, dishwashers use half the energy and one-sixth the water. If you’re a superhero and can rinse and scrub one plate in 4.4 seconds, then please, continue hand washing. If not, a dishwasher is more water and energy efficient. What’s more, you shouldn’t pre-rinse dishes before placing them in the dishwasher either. They’re designed to handle as much filth as possible, and pre-rinsing is just wasting the tap. And of course, don’t start a load until the dishwasher is absolutely full. If you do, make sure the cycle is short. If you’re purchasing a new dishwasher, be sure to find one that has Energy Star stamped on it.
Fun fact, leaks are such a problem in the US that Fix a Leak Week is celebrated every March. The average household leaks about 10,000 gallons a year, which is the same amount of water to run 270 loads of laundry. That covers about 70% of all the loads you run that same year. Usually leaks come from faucets, toilets, showers, and outdoor irrigation systems. To see if your house has a leak problem, check that your water consumption doesn’t exceed 12,000 gallons a month. You can also check your water meter during a time when no water is being used. If after about two hours the meter doesn’t read the same, then you have a leak somewhere. Be sure to repair the dripping faucet or wherever the leak is coming from right away.
A Yard Day’s Night
Check out our other post on how to save money caring for your home garden. Some key tips include: turning off your sprinklers when it’s about to rain, watering in the morning to lower water loss due to evaporation, watering deeply, pointing your sprinklers towards your lawn rather than the street to avoid runoff, and a few more. An IoT alternative would be able to take care of most of these for you, and can cut down nearly 50% of your outdoor water consumption. Depending on the climate you live in (obviously drier climates will use more water and be more expensive), IoT could save you nearly $300 a year on water bills.
There’s a bunch of ways to save water around the house so you can cut down on water and energy costs. If you follow these tips, you could save up to a few hundred dollars each year. Most of the hacks we’ve mentioned above will pay for themselves in the long-run. Remember to check your water bill next year and let us know if anything’s changed!