Water conservation is as useful to your household, the long-term maintenance of your appliances, and is eco-friendly to boot. By learning to use less water in your home on a daily basis, you can significantly cut the cost of your water bill and get better at taking care of your home and appliances at the same time.
Of course, as much as it’s nice to reduce your water use, no one wants to give up their constant access to luxurious hot and cold running water either. The good news is that you can maintain your usual lifestyle and save water at the same time. With these ten helpful tips, you can use running water almost as often as you used to and significantly reduce your overall household usage over time.
1) Install Aerating Faucets and Shower Heads
The first and most important tip when it comes to convenient and enjoyable water conservation are faucets and showerheads that aerate the water. Aeration is the process of mixing the water with air so that it dispenses as thousands of tiny droplets instead of one heavy water stream. This way, you can still spend just as much time washing your hands and almost as much time in the shower as you always have while reducing your water usage every time you turn on the tap.
Faucets That Can Be Aerated
- Bathroom Sink
- Shower Head
- Kitchen Sink
- Garden Hose or Outdoor Faucet
2) The Two-Mode Commode
The toilet is one of the most water-hungry appliances in your entire home, and toilets that stop functioning properly can become an enormous addition to your water use as they fill and drain constantly. The best way to reduce the amount of water your toilet uses is to replace it with the now incredibly popular and efficient low-flow toilets. However, these are also notoriously difficult to unclog so instead, look for a two-mode toilet that flushes at low-flow rates most of the time but can trigger normal flow by holding the handle down for a few seconds.
3) Never Leave the Tap Running
If you want to know where all your water goes, pay attention to when you leave the tap on. Many people leave the water running on full-blast for several minutes while they brush their teeth, and there are dozens of other little personal tasks that we do with the water running. To reduce this pointless water waste, start attuning your ears to hear the sound of water running and start turning off the tap any time you hear that sound and the water isn’t actually doing anything for anyone.
Places to Watch Your Water Use
- Brushing Teeth
- Washing Dishes
- Morning Preparations
- Cleaning the kitchen or bathroom
4) Half-Fill the Sink to Pre-Wash Dishes
In fact, washing the dishes is another one of the big users of water that simply slips down the drain when you’re done. When cleaning dishes, we often leave the water on for several minutes at a time during scrub and even rinsing under running water isn’t necessary unless you’re about to eat off the dish. Instead, fill the sink about half to 3/4 full of hot, soapy water and go to town on the dishes from there. You can use this water to soak with, scrub under, and dip-rinse dishes before stacking them into the wire dishwasher racks.
5) Completely Fill Your Dishwasher with Each Load
Your dishwasher uses the same amount of water for each load regardless of how many dishes you load in. When arranging the dishes to be washed, try to pack as many items into the dishwasher as possible, ensuring that the sprayers can still reach every surface so that nothing comes out dirty. Depending on the settings for your dishwasher, you may also be able to opt-out of additional washing cycles and heat drying which will save you both water and electricity.
- Bowls and cups go on top, plates, and pans on the bottom
- Silverware should be pointed eating-end up and should not nest into each other
- Make sure there is space between, under, and around each item
- Clear the filter in the bottom before starting
- Don’t forget the rinse aid
6) Take Short Showers or Long Baths
Showers are another big running-water usage point but can also go either way on whether or not they’re efficient. With an aerated shower head, a five-minute shower uses less water than a full bath, but a fifteen-minute shower starts to get excessive. If you want to luxuriate in hot water and reduce your water use at the same time, consider taking a long bath at the end of the day. Otherwise, if you’re in a hurry, take a super quick shower instead.
7) Defrost Food In the Microwave or Fridge
One of the most common ways to defrost a package of frozen food is to run it under luke-warm water. While this definitely works, it also leaves your tap running sometimes for upwards of half an hour as the item thaws. Instead, you can either remember to put your frozen food in the refrigerator to thaw overnight, or you can brave the microwave defrost function which works pretty well for most things.
8) Plan a Drought-Tolerant Lawn
If you want a beautiful lawn but don’t want to use up all that water to keep it green and plush, it may be time to change landscaping tactics. Rather than trying to maintain a lawn that needs more water than you want to give it, consider planting sturdier bushes and flowers instead. Drought-resistant plants are great for regions that experience water restrictions, and if you’re water restricting yourself, then they are a perfect choice.
9) Wash Your Car with a Bucket
Car washes are one of the great American traditions both as a fundraiser and happily washing your own car in the driveway. However, the tradition of using a flowing hose to do the washing and rinsing is completely unnecessary and more than a little wasteful. To reduce your car washing water use, do the washing phase with a big soapy bucket instead. You can rinse with either a sloshed clean water bucket or the hose if you do it fast.
10) Watch for Leaks
Finally, if you really want to reduce your home’s water use without changing your enjoyable modern lifestyle too much, it’s important to remember that leaks aren’t always obvious and can be hiding somewhere in an appliance or behind a wall. The best way to detect a hidden leak is to keep an eye on your water meter when no water is being used. If it’s still ticking up, it’s time to go on a leak hunt.
Conserving water in your home is a wonderful way to make a difference to your local environment and give your bank account a monthly break on utilities. With these helpful tips and more ideas you are sure to think of on your own, you can enjoy a water-efficient home without giving up any of your favorite luxuries. It’s all about smart use and proper maintenance. Contact us today for more home maintenance and appliance repair tips.