Water Saving Tips for Going Green
Saving water is easy and the money can really add up, according to TotalProtect® Home Warranty experts. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the average household spends as much as $500 per year on its water and sewer bill. Homeowners can pocket an extra $170 in utility bill savings annually, just by installing more water-efficient fixtures and making a few simple changes to daily usage.
TotalProtect technicians have several suggestions on how to save water inside and outside your home, based upon the EPA's published recommendations:
- Fix every leak…even the smallest drip: The EPA calculates that just one drip per second wastes more than 3,000 gallons of water each year.
- Check toilets with this easy test: Toilet leaks are not as obvious to spot as a dripping faucet. TotalProtect recommends the EPA's suggested test. Add food coloring to the tank. If your toilet leaks, you will see the food coloring in the bowl within 15 minutes. (Just make sure you remember to flush immediately after your test, as the coloring can stain the bowl.)
- Choose a shower over a bath: Save water by limiting baths to an occasional relaxing treat, rather than an everyday practice. According to the EPA, you will use as much as 70 gallons of water filling your tub. By comparison, a five-minute shower uses only 10-25 gallons on average.
- Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth: Otherwise, you are paying for approximately eight gallons of water each time you leave it running.
- Do full loads only: Wait until your dishwasher or washing machine is full before running it. Doing just half a load of dishes or clothes wastes a lot of water and energy.
- Consider ENERGY STAR® rated appliances: When replacing your washing machine or dishwasher, TotalProtect home warranty technicians always recommend choosing a model that is ENERGY STAR rated. These higher-efficiency appliances will save you a lot more water and energy. Also, when choosing a washing machine, consider a front-loading model to save even more water. According to the California Energy Commission, it uses 40% less water than other models, on average.
- Water smarter outside: The EPA urges you never to water in the middle of the day when the sun is at its strongest: only during cooler morning or early evening hours. Otherwise, most of the water just evaporates. The agency also cautions against over-fertilizing your lawn, which then requires more water. When mowing your lawn, raise your blade to 3 inches. Keeping your grass higher allows deeper roots, which hold the soil moisture better.
For more water and energy saving tips, plus home maintenance advice, visit the TotalProtect Blog.
The information in this article is intended for the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are intended to indicate coverage by our home warranty or service plans. Please review your contract carefully to understand what your product coverage entails.
Water usage costs and savings tips shared in this article are published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's "WaterSense®: Simple Steps to Save Water", a downloadable guide available at www.epa.gov/watersense and the California Energy Commission's www.consumerenergy.org.