If you are a city-dweller, a water bill is a non-negotiable utility expense. However, just because you will always have it doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to make it lower, just as using less electricity and heating fuel can reduce other utility bills.
Although you don’t want to go to the extreme (taking showers is a good thing, for the sake of others, if not for your own peace of mind), you can drastically reduce your water bill by simply changing a few bad habits. Not only will you be saving yourself money, you’ll be helping the environment. Here are six ways to see a difference in your next water bill:
Only run full loads of laundry. Doing small loads may seem convenient, but the amount of water you are wasting is not (up to 2,130 gallons). If you find you need just one item, consider washing it by hand in the sink. Otherwise, try to keep your loads full, and use the appropriate load-size setting instead of always defaulting to large. Also consider upgrading your washer to a high-efficiency model, preferably a front loader.
Run the dishwasher: it uses less water than hand washing. The same advise applies for dish washing as for clothes washing – run full loads only. Again, if your dishwasher is old, you should consider upgrading to a newer model designed to use less water and electricity. If you have only a few dishes, hand-wash or wait until you have more to wash. When hand-washing dishes, wait until you have finished washing all the dishes to rinse them all at once, instead of rinsing dishes individually.
Change your shower head and take quick showers. A nice long shower is nice every once in a while, but if you change your shower head to a low-flow model and limit your showers to about ten minutes, you can save as much as 50 gallons of water each time. If you feel like enjoying the water, take a bath instead but don’t fill the tub).
Turn the faucet off while you brush your teeth. This may seem trivial, but a lot of water is wasted while we shine our pearly whites. Wait until you are done brushing your teeth to turn the faucet on and rinse your toothbrush. This simple change of habit can save you up to $240 on your water bill each year.
Fix leaks and drippy faucets right away. Slow drips or a constantly-running toilet may not seem significant, but they are to your water bill. Taking care of leaks can save up to 10,000 gallons of water annually. If you are unable to fix the leaks yourself, call a friend or family member. Even if you have to hire a handyman, it will be well worth your savings in the long run.
Refrigerate your drinking water and use the microwave to heat water. Many of us waste water waiting for the tap to turn the desired temperature.
Taking the time to change your habits and consider that conserving resources and money is more important than convenience can make an impact on your expenses, your ability to save more money, and ultimately living a better life.