These days, the cost of everything seems to be rising. Your water bill is likely no exception. Thankfully, there are some simple, affordable steps that you can take to save money and conserve one of our most valuable resources at the same time!
One of the best ways to do this is to install low flow water fixtures throughout your home. There are all kinds of fixtures for your bathrooms, kitchen or wherever you use water in home that can literally save gallons of water each month. Less water running through your taps means more money stays in your pocket and less wasted water.
Low flow water fixtures do exactly what their name suggests: they reduce your water usage by reducing the overall amount of water flowing through an open tap. This can add up to some big savings. Shower heads and sink faucets typically account for more than 20% of water used in the average, so low flow fixtures can easily save up to a quarter of your water bill!
The savings don’t stop there though. You’ll save on your heating bills as well. Think about your shower. Unless you’re in to cold showers, that water has to be heated. By installing a low flow shower head you’ll reduce the amount of water you consume, which will reduce the amount of water that needs to be heated, saving you money on your heating bill as well.
Best of all, these aren’t the type of changes that will require expensive, complicated or time-consuming renovation. In fact, most of these switches are quick and easy:
Faucets: Faucet heads have a small device where the water comes out called an aerator. You can see the gallons per minute (GPM) written on the side of it. If it’s over 2.75 GPM, you should replace it with a low flow fixture that is 2.5 GPM or less. This can be as easy as unscrewing the aerator from the faucet head and replacing it with another inexpensive low flow aerator found at any home improvement store.
Showerheads: If you or someone else in your family likes to take long showers, this could easily be the biggest culprit of water use in your home. The average 8-minute shower, for example, can use up to 17 gallons of water. Similar to faucets, showerheads should also be 2.5 GPM or less to be considered low flow, but consider trading yours out with one that is 1.5 GPM or less to see big savings.
There are also a few slightly larger or more complex changes you can consider making that will save you money in the long run:
Toilets: Changing your toilets isn’t necessarily expensive but it should certainly be done by a plumbing professional. It’s worth the effort though, as about 75% of indoor water is used in the bathroom, and 25% of that is from flushing your toilet. The average toilet uses 4 gallons per flush (GPF), so by replacing your toilet with a low flow toilet, you can cut that water usage in half.
High-efficiency appliances: High-efficiency washers can save water and energy by using less water in each cycle for a load of laundry. They also have faster spin cycles that remove excess water, reducing the dry time as well. Similarly, energy-efficient dishwashers use both less water and less energy to heat that water than older, less efficient models.
Tankless water heaters: These heaters are great for conserving water and energy by only heating water when a faucet is turned on and calling for it. They are a great pairing with low flow aerators and shower heads. Tankless water heaters are a more expensive option than a traditional water heater at the outset, but the ongoing savings could be worthwhile in the long-run.
Any combination of the above options will work to save you money and save the environment for us all. If you have any questions, be sure to talk to one of our expert plumbing technicians at Ottawa Plumbing and Heating. We’ll work with you to find the best water saving solutions for you and your home.