Home Hacks that Conserve Water

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How much water cycles through your home each year? Or, more importantly, how much water is wasted? It is easy to underestimate the amount of water we use or waste each year. Even the occasional drip may not seem like much, but each little drip can add up to a thousands of gallons of unnecessarily spent water on an annual basis. The good news is that you can take steps and make some improvements in your home that will not only save precious water resources but also lower your water bill in the process.

The first and most important step you can take towards water conservation is repairing leaks. The simplest way to assess whether or not you have leak issues is to consult your water meter. Take a look at it when there is no water running in your home and make a note of the gauge reading. After a couple of consumption free hours pass, revisit the gauge. If no water was used but the reading has changed, there is a leak present that needs to be located and repaired. The easiest place to start is with what you can see, such as faucets. Tighten valves/packing nuts and replace worn washers then conduct your test again. If a leak is still indicated, a pipe could be to blame and a call to a plumber might be in order if you cannot find and fix it on your own.

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Speaking of pipes, have you ever thought about all the water that goes down the drain while you are waiting for hot water to make its way into your sink, tub, or shower? That is another example of waste water that can be at least somewhat reduced. Sure, you are not going to want to get into an icy shower, but by wrapping insulation around hot water pipes, you will enable water to get hot faster and stay hot longer, which will reduce the amount of water wasted as it travels through pipes.

Got a toilet that runs frequently? That right there is another waste of water. Is your toilet more than 20 years old? Toilets made in the past are known to use far more water than models currently on the market. Consider upgrading to a model that offers reduced water usage or you can place a plastic soft drink bottle in the tank to cut back on spent water. This works by displacement and does not allow the tank to cycle as much water with every flush.

Other easy methods of water conservation that you can embrace include:

  • Rather than run the tap until water is cold enough to fill up a glass, use ice to chill your drink or fill a pitcher and place it in the fridge for cold water at the ready.
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  • Taking shorter showers, which reduces consumption of water by 2-5 gallons per minute you shave off of your shower time.
  • Don't leave water running constantly while you shave, brush your teeth, or wash your face, as sinks use about 1-3 gallons per minute, and that is if you have a reduced flow aerator in place. If you do not have reduced or low flow aerators, consider adding them.
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  • When you do laundry, only wash full loads on the shortest cycle possible to get your clothes clean. Hot versus cold water washing makes no difference in water consumption, but permanent press cycles use several more gallons per load than other cycles.
  • Use the dishwasher instead of washing by hand as the dishwasher actually uses less water than hand washing typically does.
  • When the time comes to replace an appliance that uses water, opt for the Energy Star versions. These use less energy in addition to using less water.
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Taking these steps to conserve water will not only be beneficial in your home but will also help the environment and water supply as a whole. In some cases, you have to spend money to save money, but those decisions pay off in the long term. Ultimately, setting up your home to conserve water conserves money in your bank account as well.

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