Water conservation isn’t just good for the environment; it’s good for your wallet, too! While you probably consider water usage more often during the summer, we all use water year-round. According to the USGS, every person in the U.S. manages to use between 80 and 100 gallons of water daily.
Here are a few tips to add to your water conservation arsenal so you save money during the cold winter months.
Use Recycled Paper
What’s this have to do with water? Plenty – 100% recycled paper saves 64% on energy, 58% on water, and drastically reduces air pollution, compared to buying products made from trees.
Wrapping pipes not only prevents freezing – it saves money too. When hot water pipes cool due to low winter temperatures, it takes longer for your shower to get hot. Wrapping them in insulation means you get hot water quicker, saving water and the energy to heat it, too.
On-Demand Water Heater
These water heaters are very common in Europe, because they’re very energy efficient. There’s no need to let the water run until it is hot. The water heats immediately as it passes through the heater, instead of expending energy to heat water in a large tank.
Energy.gov estimates households that install on-demand water heaters can be 8%–14% more energy efficient, even if your household uses plenty of hot water. They estimate a typical family can save $100 or more per year on their energy bill and you’ll use less water.
WaterSense Shower Head & Faucet Aerators
Showering accounts for nearly 17 percent of residential indoor water use. You can easily reduce this by installing a WaterSense shower head, which cuts water consumption from 2.5 gallons per minute to 2.0 gallons per minute.
You won’t sacrifice efficiency either. Their performance rivals conventional products, but with an average annual water saving of almost 3,000 gallons. WaterSense faucet aerators can reduce water flow by 30 percent, or more.
Add a Brick
One of the oldest and simplest ways to save water is to lift the tank lid and place a brick in the back of the toilet. It displaces water, so each time you flush it refills with about half a gallon less water and your toilet functions normally.
When it’s time to replace your toilet, choose a high-efficiency one to greatly reduce consumption.
Attend to Plumbing Issues
Does the bathroom tap faucet or the toilet continually run? These little problems can waste gallons of water. According to the USGS, a faucet dripping ten times a minute can waste over 1,000 gallons of water annually. A running toilet can jack up your water bills significantly and could waste hundreds of gallons of water each day!
Buy Efficient Appliances
It seems every manufacturer claims they make the most efficient appliance, but they often differ greatly and a lower initial cost can mask overall spending.
For instance, check a dishwasher’s energy consumption in kWh/year and water use by gallons per cycle. Some high-efficiency washing machines can use four times less energy and very little water, but not all.
Replace tired appliances with Energy Star certified models to save water and money. Research appliances on the Energy Star website, before you buy.
A standard Rhode Island homeowner’s insurance policy protects you from damage caused by sudden water-related events such as burst pipe. However, policies usually exclude coverage for damage caused by poor maintenance and flooding. Discuss your insurance policy with your local independent insurance agent to ensure you’re properly protected and water conservation a year-round practice.