Your Rising Water Bills: 5 Ways to Lower Your Household Consumption

Posted On: September 09, 2013

During the summer, you no doubt experience high water bills from increased use. These five suggestions can help you lower your household consumption immediately. By following these ideas, you can address rising water bills far into the future.

Find and fix leaks. Checking faucets and showerheads can reveal places where you’re losing water and contributing to those rising water bills. Look for and tighten leaky faucets. Check that sprinkler heads work properly and make sure the flappers in your toilet tanks close after flushing. By making simple repairs, you could save hundreds of gallons a week. Use online leaking faucet waste estimators to calculate what you can save. And remember, stopping leaks can also prevent mold and mildew from proliferating in damp areas in your home.

Go for low flow. By replacing existing fixtures with low-flow versions, you can reduce water use by almost a third. The standard flow rate is about 2.5 gallons per minute, while the newer, efficient models flow as little as a half-gallon per minute.

Upgrade your toilets. You can upgrade older toilets with more efficient models that are built with a lower flow rate. Where older models use an average of four gallons per flush, the new federal EPA compliant models can use just over one gallon per flush.

Upgrade your appliances. When purchasing a new dishwasher or washing machine, look for high-efficiency models. Under Energy Star guidelines, the water efficiency is reflected in the Water Factor (WF) code; a lower WF indicates a more efficient machine. You can find WF ratings on the Energy Star list of qualified products. Consider switching to a tankless water heater as another way to conserve.

Collect water from your downspouts. By installing a rain barrel at the base of your down spout, you can collect rainwater to use to water your lawn and garden. The U.S. EPA estimates that a rain barrel can save the average homeowner 1,300 gallons of water during summer months.

When looking to repair or upgrade your water heater or other appliances, or for other tips on how to reduce your utility bills, please contact us at Ernst Heating & Cooling. Check out our installation and other services to see if we can assist you. We provide superior services in the Metro-East area, including in Troy, Edwardsville, Highland and Hamel.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Alton, Glen Carbon, Highland, Greenville, and Troy, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about water conservation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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