With utility costs constantly on the rise, you may be looking for effective strategies to reduce your water bill. Even small changes in your water usage routine can add up to big savings over time. Here are 10 techniques you can adopt in your Seattle-area home to conserve water and manage your bills.
- Implement Water-Saving Bathroom BehaviorsEveryone in your household should understand the importance of conserving water and how they can contribute. The bathroom is a good place to start. For instance, make a habit of turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth or shaving. Then, commit to taking short showers rather than deep baths. Finally, never use the toilet as a trash can. Flushing items that should go in the garbage needlessly wastes water and increases the risk of a clogged drain and backed-up sewer.
- Adopt Efficient Laundry PracticesAim to only run your washing machine when you have a full load. If you need to run a small batch, adjust the water level accordingly. When considering a new washing machine purchase, look for a front-loading model, which typically uses less water than a top-loader. Also, wash clothes in cold water whenever possible to reduce water heating costs.
- Be Mindful of Your Kitchen HabitsYou can save a surprising amount of water in the kitchen with a few simple changes. Rather than pre-rinsing dishes before loading them into the dishwasher, simply scrape food scraps into the trash. If your dishwasher isn’t good at removing stuck-on food, soak dishes as a water-conserving alternative to rinsing. Then, wait until you have a full load to run the dishwasher. When cooking, use only the minimum amount of water necessary, and repurpose any leftover water to give your houseplants a drink.
- Fix Leaky Faucets and FixturesA seemingly insignificant drip from a leaky faucet can waste 20 gallons of water per day. Larger leaks can result in hundreds of gallons of wasted water. By regularly inspecting your faucets and fixtures for leaks, you can identify issues and rectify them immediately. Not only does this conserve water, but it also helps you avoid a shock when your water bill arrives.
- Upgrade to Water-Saving AppliancesOlder plumbing appliances tend to consume more water than their modern counterparts. Consider replacing them with new, high-efficiency models, especially if they’re on their last leg. Specifically, look for dishwashers, washing machines, and water heaters the Energy Star label, which are designed to use less water and energy. While they may be more expensive to purchase initially, the long-term savings on your monthly water bills make the investment worthwhile.
- Install Water-Efficient FixturesConsider replacing your existing plumbing fixtures with more water-efficient ones. For instance, low-flow showerheads and faucets reduce water usage by up to 60 percent without compromising performance. They work by aerating the water to maintain a high-pressure feel, even while decreasing the flow rate.
Likewise, installing dual-flush or low-flow toilets reduces the amount of water consumed with each flush, leading to significant savings over time. Don’t worry—the unreliable low-flow toilets of the 1990s have been much improved, meaning clogs are few and far between despite only using 1.6 gallons per flush or less.
- Rethink Your LandscapingOutdoor water use is a major contributor to high water bills, especially in the summer. By opting for native plants, you can significantly reduce the amount of watering required. Grouping plants with similar watering needs is also helpful. If you have a vegetable or flower garden, consider putting in a drip irrigation system, which delivers water directly to the plant roots and reduces water waste caused by evaporation and runoff.
- Install Rain BarrelsWhile rain barrels aren’t legal everywhere, they are certainly allowed, even encouraged, in Washington’s rainy climate. According to the state’s Department of Ecology website, residents don’t even need a water right permit to collect and use rooftop runoff for watering plants, washing the car, cleaning outdoor surfaces, and more. This eco-friendly strategy reduces your reliance on municipal water for outdoor water use and curbs your utility bills.
- Monitor Your Water MeterHave you noticed an unexplained increase in your water usage lately? Keep a close eye on your water meter to help identify hidden leaks in your plumbing system. To do this, check your water meter and note the reading. Then, wait two hours, ensuring no one in your household turns on a tap or flushes the toilet. Check the meter again to see if the reading has changed. If so, you likely have a leak somewhere that should be fixed as soon as possible to reduce waste and manage your costs.
- Insulate Your PipesInstalling hot water pipe insulation is another effective way to save water. This affordable upgrade helps your water heat up faster at the tap. As a result, less water flows down the drain, and you spend less time waiting impatiently for the hot water needed to cook, clean, or shower. Pipe insulation also lowers water heating costs, boosting your savings even more.
Schedule Plumbing Services in Seattle, WA
While these tips reduce your water consumption and lower your bills, sometimes expert intervention is necessary. Puget Sound Plumbing and Heating has been in business for over 20 years, lending a trusted hand to homeowners in the Seattle area. As a family-owned business, we understand the importance of cost savings without compromising on quality. That’s why we only employ fully licensed technicians, ensuring unbeatable work and a positive customer experience.
From finding and fixing hidden leaks to installing water-efficient appliances, we’re here to help you maximize your water usage. Call us today at (206) 938-3219 or contact us online to schedule plumbing services designed with you in mind.