When was the last time you looked at your water bill?
You may not think about your water bill, but it’s essential to your household budget. After heating and cooling expenses, water heating is your home's second largest energy expense. You want to make sure you’re getting the most for your money. These 9 tips will help you save money on your water bill without skimping the necessities.
- Turn down the Temp
- Increase Efficiency by 30% With This Tip
- Make Your Bathroom Time Pay
- Forget What you Learned as a Child-Skip the Pre-Rinse
- The Fewer Loads, the Better
- Sign up for Time-of-Day Programs with your Energy Provider
- Apply for Assistance with Your Water Bill
Turn Down the Temp
Not too hot but not too cold.
Correctly setting your water heater temperature will save you money and prevent scalding showers. If your water heater is set too low, it will feel lukewarm and could lead to bacterial growth. At 150 degrees, you risk suffering second-degree burns within two seconds. According to the Department of Energy, the default temperature for a water heater is 140 degrees, which wastes between $36 and $61 a year. Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees to maintain a comfortable setting for most uses.
Increase Efficiency by 30% With This Tip
You’ve probably heard that turning the faucet off while brushing your teeth or shaving saves water, but did you know you can also save water when the tap is running? Install an aerator or a WaterSense-certified faucet to reduce flow without sacrificing performance. These models are 30% more efficient than standard faucets. According to the EPA, the average household spends as much as $500 per year on their water and sewer bill. Families can save about $170 annually by installing water-efficient fixtures and appliances. Using aerated faucets and accessories can save a household an average of 500 gallons of water a year- enough water to do 14 loads of laundry.
Make Your Bathroom Time Pay
Have you ever timed your shower? Cutting your shower time by two or three minutes can save 5-10 gallons of water per shower. Multiply the savings by 12 months, and that adds up! The average American showers for 8 minutes, consuming 30 gallons of water per shower.
Wipe out water wastage by turning the shower faucet off while you lather up. When you’re ready to rinse, turn it back on.
Put plastic bottles in your toilet tank to reduce the water you send swirling down the drain. Fill two plastic soda bottles with an inch or two of sand to weigh them down. Add water and replace the lid. Place the bottles in the tank, away from mechanisms and moving parts. Alternatively, purchase an inexpensive float booster or tank bank.
Forget What you Learned as a Child-Skip the Pre-Rinse
Skip the pre-rinse. Yes, you read that right!
Dishwasher detergents separate food particles from their surfaces. Save water and energy in the kitchen by skipping the pre-rinse before loading the dishwasher. Unless you are planning to wait a few hours before running the dishwasher, scrape large pieces of food into the trash and load up the dishes.
Only run the dishwasher when it is fully loaded. Running a full load of dishes in the dishwasher is more water-efficient than washing by hand, but if you choose to hand-wash, plug the sink and use a small tub or water basin to conserve water.
The Fewer Loads, the Better
Do less laundry.
Always wait until you have full loads before running your washing machine. Skip the permanent press cycle, which wastes 5 gallons of water for an additional rinse.
Wash clothes in cold water. Most detergents and EnergyStar Machines are designed to wash clothes in cold water, which cuts energy use by more than half. To find out how much you are spending yearly to run your washer and dryer, use this energy cost calculator from energy.gov.
Sign up for Time-of-Day Programs with your Energy Provider
Contact your utility company to inquire about programs that offer lower energy costs at certain times of the day. If you can schedule energy usage-such as washing and drying clothes overnight, you can pay less to do laundry and other energy-consuming chores.
Apply for Assistance with Your Water Bill
Check with your state to apply for help with your water bill. The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) provides funds to assist low-income families with water and wastage bills.
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