Whether you’re saving up for a big purchase, putting away money to go on a nice trip, or looking for ways to increase your disposable income to pay off some outstanding debt, it’s important to manage your finances. Your water bill probably isn’t the most expensive of your monthly payments in Sarasota, FL, but if you’re looking to cut down on expenses, every dollar counts. Before you start downgrading your cable package and canceling subscriptions, take these steps to ensure that you’re not flushing money down the drain on your water bills.
1. Upgrade Your Faucets
No matter how high-end the faucets you have installed are, over time they will wear out. The gaskets and seals designed to keep water in your pipes will eventually stop working at full functionality. This is one of those areas where being cheap on upgrades could end up costing you on your water bill.
While there has long been an emphasis on turning off faucets while you’re brushing your teeth to save water, consider upgrading your faucets completely to eliminate those slow leaks that are costing you money. When you’re upgrading those faucets, make sure that you look into options that regulate the amount of water that comes out, which will cut down on waste every time you use them.
2. Track Down Possible Leaks
Homeownership is an expensive concept when you’re only paying for the basics. By the time you’re paying other utility payments, insurance, and other unavoidable fees, you don’t have the extra money to throw away on undiscovered plumbing leaks.
Finding plumbing leaks in and around your home is important for multiple reasons, though. Not only can it save you money, but it can also cut down on the risk of structural and environmental damage to your property. Therefore, leak detection is good for savings and your safety.
Water leaks, whether they be in your home, somewhere in your yard, or even under the house, can lead to water damage and other bacterial growth. Severe leaks can also lead to a compromised foundation.
Every so often, it’s a great idea to have someone who is trained in plumbing leak detection to come in and evaluate your plumbing system. This professional will know how to detect warning signs of leaks, the areas where they’re the most common, and be able to help you remedy any issues that may have come up within your system.
3. Less Is More When Doing Laundry
It can be incredibly tempting to throw in a few articles of dirty clothes to keep the size of your laundry loads from getting out of control. However, your attempt to save on the amount of time you spend doing laundry may be costing you money.
Your washing machine doesn’t lessen the amount of water that it uses based on the number of clothing articles in the machine. That means that throwing in that small load of t-shirts is using the same amount of water as a full load of dirty clothes would use.
While it may lead to more time when you’re folding and putting up the laundry, only using your washing machine for full loads of laundry can go a long way toward saving money on your monthly water bill. Just be sure not to overload it to the point of breaking the appliance.
4. Take Shorter and Fewer Showers
We know, there’s something incredibly relaxing about coming home from a long, stressful day at work and taking a long, hot shower to unwind. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with doing that every once in a while, those daily showers that allow you to de-stress may be draining your bank account.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), showers account for nearly 20% of the water use in most homes. That means that those long, relaxing showers may be pouring your money straight down the drain.
Personal hygiene is certainly important, and no one is suggesting that you skimp on making sure that you and your family are getting clean. However, if you can cut down on the amount of time that you’re in the shower, even by one or two minutes, you can cut down on a lot of wasted water.
5. Install Efficient Showerheads to Save on Your Water Bill
Speaking of showers, you may be losing water as soon as you turn the water on without even realizing it. Older showerheads may be half as efficient as those made more recently.
The Energy Policy Act of 1992 altered the standards of showerheads, requiring them to lower their flow rate to no more than 2.5 gallons per minute. Before that date, showerheads could use five or more gallons per minute.
While that means that newer showerheads don’t waste as much water, those made before 1992, and those that were already on shelves for some time after that new regulation are still out there wasting twice the amount of water that environmentally-friendly models produce. If you’re looking for ways to cut down on the amount of water you’re home is using, start with those showerheads.
6. Using the Dishwasher Saves on Water Bill
The concept of loading and unloading a dishwasher can seem tedious, but when you realize the correlation between your dishwasher and the potential financial savings it can provide, those few minutes suddenly seem worth it.
The average dishwasher uses six gallons of water every cycle. While that number may seem high, keep in mind that a full dishwasher can wash the dishes dirtied during multiple meals. Like your washing machine, make sure that you’re waiting until the dishwasher is full to turn it on, and you’ll save on your water bill.
In contrast, washing dishes in the sink by hand can use up to two gallons of water every minute. That means that your dishwasher is more than three times as water-friendly as washing your dirty dishes by hand. Get that dishwasher full and turn it on!
7. Be Careful About Outdoor Cleaning
It’s incredibly easy to fall into the trap of quickly spraying off your outside steps, walkways, and other areas that you want to keep looking nice. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to make sure that the outside of your home looks clean and tidy, it may be costing you simply because of the way that you’re going about it.
Some experts say that every time that you rinse off your driveway, steps, and sidewalk, you’re using 50 gallons of water or more. To put that in perspective, you could run your dishwasher nine times for nearly the same amount of water.
While it may require more elbow grease to forego spray cleaning, elbow grease is free. Instead of spending that 50 gallons of water to spray of your walkways, use a broom, and you’ll notice a difference on your water bill.
Speaking of water usage outside of your home, be careful when washing your car. While it’s a task that certainly needs doing, simply turning off the hose between rinses can save upwards of 150 gallons of water. That’s a lot of money on your water bill!
Why Professional Maintenance Matters So Much
Every system in your home requires maintenance, and your plumbing is no different. You probably already have your car routinely serviced for oil changes, filter changes, and tire rotations. You may already have a plan in place to have your HVAC system checked out once or twice a year by a licensed professional.
Consider setting up a plumbing maintenance program where one of our trained professionals comes once a year and checks out your entire plumbing system. Not only will this help you to recognize any current or potential problems, but it will also ensure that all of the appliances in your home that require water are running at their optimal level.
At Aqua Plumbing & Air, we realize that everyone is looking for ways to have a little more money in their pocket after end-of-the-month bills. That’s why we have a long list of services, each of which helps you get the most out of your home’s systems. If you’re interested in finding a way to reduce waste and save more money, contact Aqua Plumbing & Air today.
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