With prices and rates rising everywhere, there’s no time like the present to figure out ways to cut costs wherever possible – and that includes on your water bill.
The good news is that there are so many little things you can do that make a real difference in water usage – and thus the amount you pay each month. And even if you use a well, it’s a good idea to cut water usage to increase the life of your well pump.
With that in mind, here’s a look at the little (and big) things you can do to make a real difference in your water rates, as well as cut down on the stress that you put your plumbing under daily. (We’ve broken the tips down by simple fixes and expenditures.)
Here’s a look at some very easy steps you can take to cut down on water consumption, starting in the bathroom:
- Shower just four minutes less – by doing this daily, you can reduce water usage by almost 4,000 gallons per year. The reduction will also help save on your energy bill by reducing the need to heat that water. For that matter, you can increase your shower savings even further by turning off the water while you lather shampoo and/or condition your hair. Simply turn it back on when you’re ready to rinse.
- Turn off the water while shaving and/or brushing – Use a cup for each. Fill it with room temperature water for brushing, hot for shaving and use the cup to rinse – instead of running water.
How about in the kitchen?
- Use your dishwasher at full capacity – There are things that you have to hand wash. But unless it has to be hand washed, stick it in the dishwasher and fill that dishwasher up before turning it on to maximize usage. Hand washing dishes utilizes (and wastes) lots of water.
- Avoid using the disposal – Plumbers will tell you these are the bane of their existence and cause more problems than they solve by creating blockages and leaks. They also need water in order to use, so the best thing to do is use a food trap and either throw that food out or, better yet, put it in a compost pile.
- Put drinking water in the fridge – We all like a cold glass of water in the summer heat. But if you wait for your tap to cool off each time you pour a glass, you’re wasting water. That’s why you should fill up a pitcher and put it in the fridge so that you have immediate access to cold water.
- Reuse and recycle – All the water that you pour and don’t drink can be used for other purposes. Put it in the pet bowl or water your plants. The same goes for spilled ice cubes – use those on plants only, however, as it’s not good for dogs to drink cold water.
The laundry room also offers opportunity…
- Only wash full loads – Do not run small, multiple loads of laundry. You can also use a setting that avoids the “permanent press” cycle or other extra rinse cycles, which use 5 gallons of water each time.
What you do outdoors can also make a difference…
- Don’t scalp your grass – Keeping your grass just a little bit longer – set your lawn mower blade at 2 inches – allows it to better shade its own root system and retain soil moisture. Thus, you’ll help keep your lawn from drying out and need to water it less. You should also leave the clippings on the lawn, as this too helps retain moisture.
- Use a rake instead of a hose – Buy a push broom and use it to sweep off sidewalks, stairways, porches, and driveways.
Make the above changes, and you’ll notice a difference in your water bills almost immediately. But that’s not the end of it. You can also make a few purchases – some bigger, some smaller – that provide a sizable difference in water usage. Read on to see what kind of a difference your purchasing power can make.
- Buy and install a low-flow shower head – These devices can reduce the amount of water you use while showering by as much as 50 percent.
- Install an aerator on your bathroom faucets – An aerator reduces water flow without compromising performance and are 30% more efficient than standard faucets.
- Buy energy and water efficient appliances – This is where prices can skyrocket. However, the price you pay when buying Energy Star and WaterSense appliances will pay off over the life of the units with cheaper water bills. Those ratings mean the appliance uses 35-50% less water and 50% less energy than traditional appliances during each use.
- Attach rain barrels to your gutters – Put these on your home’s downspouts to capture rainwater that you can then use for all of your outdoor needs.
- Change your landscaping – There are several types of grasses and plants that are specifically suited to the types of summers we have here in north Georgia – which are always hot but frequently dry. Talk to a landscaper or research these plants on your own and install them so that you do not need to constantly water your lawn/landscaping. You can also add more natural areas, mulch or pine straw beds to cut down on the amounts you need to water.
These purchases can make a huge difference in your water usage. Combine them with the water-saving techniques listed above, and you will set yourself up for some major savings in utilities.
However, perhaps the biggest thing you can do to ensure you’re not leaking money is by addressing your plumbing – especially if you notice any leaks or running toilets. Not addressing these issues means that you are literally throwing money down the drain.
If you see/hear anything like a leak or running toilet understand that it needs to be fixed right away. And if you don’t have the time or the knowhow, a professional plumber may be your best call. It will cost some up front, but – just like the appliance purchase – it will pay for itself over the long haul.
The professionals at Conditioned Air Systems are here to help dure any plumbing issues you may have. That may seem unusual from a company that has built a four-decade reputation on supplying the best in HVAC – but it’s not that different. In fact, beginning in 2022, Conditioned Air brought on board plumbing master John Payne, founder of Payne Plumbing, to lead and develop our plumbing division. His work and expertise allow us to offer the same full range of expertise, customer service, and flexibility that you have come to expect from Conditioned Air’s HVAC services.
Payne, a north Georgia native, grew up in the plumbing industry and obtained his unrestricted master plumbing license over 25 years ago. He founded Payne Plumbing shortly thereafter. Thanks to John’s guidance, we will happily tackle any job, no matter the size or situation. And you can expect our plumbers to:
- Arrive on time
- Install it or repair it right, the first time
- Give you a fixed price with no hidden surprises
- Be friendly and professional
Just like our HVAC services, we offer 24/7 and emergency plumbing services to attend to your every need.
So, if you find yourself battling low water pressure, please contact us right away at 770-536-7509 and let us get your water running the right way again.