If you’re looking for ways to save some extra cash, you’ve come to the right place. By changing some habits around the house, you can cut your water bill and do your part in helping the environment. Keep reading to find out how!
Understanding Your Water Bill
Water utilities charge differently from city to city based on several factors, such as water consumption, building and maintaining treatment, plants and sewage pipes, and other operating costs
A Fixed Water Charge structure bills customers the same every month, regardless of how much water was consumed. A Uniform Rate structure requires a metered service, in which the homeowner or commercial property pays the same unit rate but their total bill is based on the amount of water consumed. There are also Increased Block Rates and Decreasing Block Rates structures, where the unit price goes up with higher water consumption and conversely, down with lower water consumption.
9 Water Conservation Tips
1. Take Shorter Showers
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average shower lasts 8 minutes.
After crunching the math, if you were to shower 5 times a week for that duration, you’re single-handedly using 4,368 gallons per year. If you cut your shower time to 7 minutes, you’re now consuming 3,822 gallons per year. You’re saving nearly 550 gallons simply by showering a minute less. The water you saved can be used elsewhere like hospitals, parks, restaurants, and gyms.
If that’s not enough to motivate you, taking longer showers is linked to skin dehydration, pores opening up, increased exposure to infection, eczema or rosacea worsening, itchiness, and burning. Save your skin, the environment, and money in the bank by being more aware of your time in the shower.
2. Brush Wisely
According to Colgate, you can save 64 cups of water every time you brush your teeth simply by turning off the faucet while brushing. For a family of 4, this can save up to 13% off their annual water bill.
In between brushing your teeth or washing your face, make a habit of turning off the water faucet when not in use. Because even if you forget, your water bill won’t.
3. Use Your Dishwasher
Ah, the old hand washing versus dishwasher debate. Some will argue that washing dishes by hand saves more water compared to using a dishwasher. Others will beg to differ.
According to a study conducted by the Environmental Research Communications, hand washing produced 5,620 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, etc.) and consumed 34,200 gallons of water in a 10-year span. Whereas a modern dishwasher emitted 2,090 kilograms of greenhouse gasses and used 16,300 gallons of water over 10 years.
Note that pre-rinsing and heated drying will increase greenhouse gas emissions by 3 percent and 11 percent, respectively.
4. Fill Up the Sink
“But I don’t have a dishwasher.” No worries, you can still cut your water bill by using your kitchen sink.
Start by plugging the drain and filling up the sink with hot soapy water. Scrape off the food residue before washing. Allow your dishes to soak beforehand and protect your skin from the hot water by wearing gloves. You’ve now just saved 4 gallons.
5. Wash Full Loads of Laundry
Just as washing full loads of dishes saves water (and money), so does washing full loads of laundry. The National Park Service says the average American family does approximately 300 loads per year. If you do that math that’s almost two loads everyday. On average 41 gallons of water per load is being used while doing laundry, if you have a residential washing machine.
Hold off on doing the smaller loads and be sure to choose the right load size. Washing larger loads at a less frequent rate will help lower your bill. You can also save gallons of water by not using the permanent press cycle.
6. Fix Those Leaky Pipes
Those darn pipes. They will cost you an arm and a leg, in addition to causing damage to your home.
You could be spending between $150 to $350 in repairs, not including wall damage or diagnosis of where the leak is coming from. The cost to fix burst pipes can range between $1,000 to $4,000. Read more on how to fix a leaky pipe.
7. Collect Rainwater
Collecting rainwater is another great way to help the environment and reduce your water bill. The best part, it’s free. That same rainwater can be reused to water your plants, your lawn, or to cool off on one of these hot and sunny Chicago days.
You can use a bucket, tarp, kiddy pool, or even pots and pans. Find specific instructions on how to collect rainwater here. Disclaimer: Be sure to check your local laws as it is illegal in some areas to collect rainwater.
8. Water Your Garden Earlier in the Day
The best time to water your lawn or garden is between early mornings, preferably before the sun is fully out and late afternoons when the sun is about to set.
The heat from the sun absorbs the water from the ground, which will require more frequent watering. Watering the plants before the sun comes out will give them enough time to absorb the water for the day. Happier plants equals less water and more money in your pockets. Be careful not to water the lawn too late though, as damp leaves or plants can lead to growing fungus.
9. Cover Your Pool
If you have a pool, it’s best to cover it when it’s not in use. According to the US Department of Energy, covering your pool saves 30%-50% of make-up water absorbed by the sun.
Not only will you save money by not having to constantly fill it up with a water hose, but covering your pool will also reduce evaporation on those hot summer days yet to come. Another important thing to keep in mind is the type of cover you use as some covers protect the pool water better than others.
Cut Your Water Bill With CJ Plumbing & Heating
Put these water conservation tips into practice and start seeing your water bill go down. You’ll also play a stronger role in protecting the environment.
At CJ Plumbing & Heating, we provide COVID-19 compliant plumbing and HVAC services throughout Chicagoland. Frozen pipes, water leaks, water meters, faucet and toilet repair and installation, and more. Get a free quote today!