Turn Back the Clock, Turn Off the Tap
Believe it or not: A few degrees in outdoor temperature can make a big difference in your water bill! Luckily, a few fall habits can help you cut back on water consumption. Here’s how to save water this fall.
1. Shorten Your Showers
As the air begins to cool, are you taking longer hot showers? It might be tempting to run the hot water while adjusting to a cooler climate, but a standard shower head can use more than two gallons of water a minute!
2. Turn Off the Tap
Pay attention to dishes! Turn off the water flow when scrubbing dirty dishes after large meals like Thanksgiving. If you’re running the dishwasher, only run the appliance when it has a full load. Choose shorter wash cycles and activate the booster heater if your dishwasher has one. The savings will stack up plate-by-plate!
3. Mark Your Calendar
On the first day of each season, check for dripping faucets and leaky pipes. A single dripping faucet can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water a year, reports Energy.gov. Don’t forget to inspect for toilet leaks, too.
4. Scale Back on Landscaping
Cooler temperatures and increased rainfall in autumn months mean that plants and yards require less water. Put the lawn sprinkler away until next summer. Better yet, take advantage of rainy months and collect rainwater in barrels to use for indoor and outdoor plants.
Cleaning up leaves and debris? Use a broom instead of a water hose to clean garage floors, sidewalks, or a driveway.
5. Insulate Water Pipes – Both Hot and Cold!
- Hot Water Pipes: Insulating hot water pipes will help reduce heat loss. Quality insulation can add 2-4 degrees to the actual temperature of household water – and those few degrees add up! This allows you to lower your water temperature setting. It also means you don’t have to wait as long for hot water when you turn on the sink faucet or showerhead, conserving water.
- Cold Water Pipes: You might wonder why it’s necessary to insulate cold water pipes. But once temperatures dip to 32 degrees or below, a frozen pipe can lead to a burst – resulting in more than $5,000 in water damage. Insulate any pipes in any area of your home that lacks climate control – like that basement you’ve been meaning to finish, or that old garage or mudroom sink. Making your own pipe insulation is often as easy as purchasing sleeves, cutting them to size, and securing them in place with tape.
Watch this EnergySaver.gov video to learn the best way to make your own water pipe insulation:
Some hard-to-reach sections of pipe require the help of a licensed, experienced professional. Benjamin Franklin Plumbers are happy to help you identify and insulate pipes in your home. One call to a plumber could save you $5,000 in potential burst pipe damage!
6. Upgrade to Energy Efficient Equipment
Does your water heater need an upgrade? If you’re in the market for a new water heater or boiler, always buy the most efficient model possible. Energy Star recommends considering tankless water heaters to reduce standby storage costs and waste. Benjamin Franklin’s professional plumbers are happy to walk you through the water heating options available for your home!