Ever feel like you're pouring your money down the drain? Well, you just might be doing just that! Water bills can be an expensive part of running a home – but unlike property taxes and those big maintenance projects, you can easily save money on your water bill.
Reduce your water bill by just $25 a month and you'll have an extra $300 in the bank by the end of the year. The best part? Saving water will lower your energy use (and the accompanying bills), improve your impact on your local environment and reduce your carbon footprint. It's a win-win situation!
Here are our quick, simple and easy ways to lower your water bill and reap the rewards.
Water-Saving Habits to adopt
- Turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth or shave
A running faucet wastes a gallon and a half of water a minute and you'd be surprised how many people leave their faucet running for 5 or 10 minutes every morning. Instead, keep a cup of hot water next to you while you shave and rinse your razor off in it, to close the sink drain and save some of the hot water to rinse your razor. The same goes for when you're brushing your teeth – just make sure it's cold water not hot! To save water (and money), a lot of people turn off their water flow during their daily shower while they lather up – it's a surprisingly effective way to lower your water usage.
- Use a dishwasher
Despite what you may have heard, dishwashers actually use less water than hand-washing. Depending on the machine you have, you can use 1/6 less water per wash. Like to rinse before popping them in? Instead of running them under a tap, soak them in a small container of water. Don't want a dishwasher? Try washing your dishes in a washing up bowl – little changes soon add up!
- Only use the washing machine/dishwasher when they're full
Running these two water-chuggers only when they're fully loaded can save you quite a bit. Always use the most efficient water and energy settings; by skipping the permanent press cycle you can save 5 gallons per use.
- Skip the bathtub
Swap that long soak in the tub for a five-minute shower once a week and you could save $25 a year.
- Add a plastic bottle to your toilet tank
OK, this one might sound odd, but stay with us. You can reduce the amount of water you flush each time you use the toilet by adding a soda bottle to your toilet tank. Take an empty bottle, fill it with a few pebbles, add some water in on top, then screw the lid back on. Pop the bottle into the tank, making sure it's not in the way of any moving parts. The bottle will take up significant water refilling space, reducing your overall usage per flush. Alternatively, you could use a float booster.
- Start a compost pile
If you find your home relying on its garbage disposal unit a lot lately, consider creating a compost pile in your garden. Disposal units use up a lot of running water, whereas a compost heap will not only save you money but also provide your garden with incredibly rich (and free) fertilizer!
- Give the power washer a rest
Instead of sprucing up the house and driveway with a power washer or hose, dust off that trusty broom and sweep away the dirt. Hosing down an average-sized driveway uses up around 50 gallons of water. Use a garden hose to wash your car? Turn the hose off in between rinses and you'll save around 150 gallons of water. Want to cut down completely? Take your car to a car wash and save at least another 100 gallons. Choose a car wash that recycles the used water and you'll help the environment even more.
- Check for any leaks
A leaky faucet can waste 1000-2000 gallons of water a year – that soon adds up dollar-wise. Check all your pipes, shower heads, toilets and faucets for leaks – even the smallest one could be costing you money and cause damage to your home if left. Luckily, you can easily fix minor water leaks yourself – it can be as simple as tightening a loose connection or replacing a washer. Check out our helpful post on how to do this here. If you can't fix it yourself, hire a professional plumber – like us!
There are many different products on the market that aim to help you reduce your water usage too:
- Water-efficient shower heads – By installing a low-flow shower head, you could save up to $125 a year. Most effective on mixer showers and power showers with a high flow rate, they must not be used on an electric shower (they can damage the shower units).
- Water-efficient appliances – Replace those old water guzzlers with an energy-efficient upgrade. You could also consider purchasing a European-style front-loading washer, which uses substantially less water than it's top-loading counterpart.
- Flow tap aerators and regulators – Can't replace those old faucets? You can still save water by fitting flow aerators, regulating the flow of water but without changing how it feels for you.