Water is crucial not only for survival but also for making life easier. Water is necessary for agriculture, manufacturing, medicine, transportation, and all aspects of human life. Fortunately, three-fourths of the Earth’s surface is water. But unfortunately, only 2.5 percent is freshwater, and the majority of it is stored in polar ice caps and glaciers, with only 1 percent available for use.
Water is a basic need, but it isn’t free, unlike oxygen. Most American families rack up hundreds of dollars in water bills every year. Conserving water is not just about promoting sustainability; it’s also about being financially responsible.
As a homeowner, you can change several things to reduce your water consumption and, as a result, reduce your water bills.
Change To A Low-Flow Shower Head
Your shower uses up the most water in your home. If you’re using a standard shower head, you’re consuming 2.5 gallons of water for every minute you shower. A twenty-minute shower uses up to 50 gallons of water. It’s not only wasteful; it’s also costly. Changing to a low-flow showerhead hits two birds with one stone. You conserve water and reduce your water bill. Installing low-flow fixtures(e.g., showerheads and faucets save up to $10 to $20 a piece. That’s 25 to 60 percent of water savings in a year.
Install Low-Flow Aerators On Faucets
By combing air in the water flow, faucet aerators reduce splashes, increase water pressure, and save water. Standard aerators use 2.2 gallons per minute (GPM). On the other hand, low-flow ones use only 0.5 GPM, which saves 77 percent more water and energy or around 18,000 gallons of water every year. Of course, low-flow aerators will have more impact if you turn off the faucet while you brush, shave, or scrub. And contrary to popular belief, hand washing dishes uses up more water than dishwashing. Just make sure only to load the dishwasher when it’s full.
Fix Leaks Right Away
Nine hundred billion water is wasted every year in the United States because of unfixed leaks at home. Fix leaky faucets and pipes as soon as you discover them and save up to $35 and 1,661 gallons of water a year. Leaving leaks unattended for a long time can result in bigger problems and more expenses in the future.
Upgrade Your Inefficient Toilet
Your old toilet can be one of the primary culprits of your skyrocketing water bills. The average person uses the toilet five times a day. That’s 30 gallons of water and several dollars down the drain. Old, inefficient toilets use 6 to 7 gallons per flush, quite a lot for one use. Modern, efficient toilets, like the low-flush Saniflo toilets, don’t have such problems. They only consume 1 to 1.28 gallons of water per flush, which saves 13,000 gallons of water and $135 in water cost per year.
Install A Tankless Water Heater
Water heating bills account for 14 to 18 percent of the average household’s utility bills. That’s about $400 to $600 per year. Changing to a tankless heater can save you up to $100 on water heating bills.
In storage heaters, you have to wait for the tank to fill up with hot water before you can use it. A tankless water heater provides hot water on demand. When you turn on the tap, cold water travels through the pipes and is heated by a gas burner or an electric heater. Energy-wise, it’s 8 to 34 percent more efficient than storage water heaters.
Installing a tankless or demand-type water heater can be expensive, but it can last up to 20 years and save you more money in the long run.
Water travels through pipes every time you turn on a faucet. As it travels, the water’s temperature may be affected by the pipes’ temperature. Insulate your water pipes at home with foam to help raise water temperature and maintain the heat as it travels. So when you turn on the shower or tap, you don’t have to wait long for hot water. It cuts down on energy and water costs. Insulating pipes in a small house can cost $10 to $15 if you do it yourself.
By the year 2030, 25 percent of the world’s population will be living in places where there’s little to no water supply. Water conservation is no longer an option; it’s a necessity. Every homeowner can contribute to the cause by making small and big changes in their homes. Changing to low-flow fixtures, replacing the inefficient heating system, and installing insulation are some of the ways to conserve water and, by extension, save on water bills. The initial work may take time, effort, and money, but the long-term payoff will be worth it.