Winter is fast approaching, and with it comes colder weather and increased energy and water bills. However, there are steps you can take to both save money this winter as well as conserving water. Here is a compiled list of water conservation tips that can help you reduce the amount of water you consume this winter:
Drip Your Faucets
This first tip may seem counter-intuitive, but trust me – it works. When temperatures reach levels below freezing, your pipes are at risk of bursting. By leaving your faucets to drip, you can prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. This can save you more water than the amount you’ll waste from a gushing broken pipe! Take a step further and place a bucket under the dripping tap to catch and save the water for later.
Winterize Your Pipes
Even your outdoor pipes are susceptible to freezing. Preventing burst pipes and leaks are key when it comes to saving water and money during the winter. Outdoor pipes, like the ones running to your backyard spigot, should be wrapped to ensure that they stay warmer than the air during the cold winter months.
Use a Shower Bucket
Waiting on the shower to get warm during the winter can be a hassle. It also wastes a large amount of water. Grab a large bucket and catch the cold water inside of it until the water gets warm. You can save this water and use it to flush the toilet or to water plants. Another option to conserve water in the shower is to invest in a new tankless hot water heater, or an instant hot water recirculating system. Both of these options provide hot water almost instantaneously. This will greatly reduce wasted water while trying to reach the right shower water temperature.
Locate the Shut-Off Valve
Make sure that you are familiar with the location of the shut-off valve in your home. Finding this valve during a water pipe burst can prevent massive flooding and tremendous water loss. Mark and remember the location of your home’s shut-off valve. Try using shut-off nozzles on hoses as well. Use nozzles that completely turn off the water when you aren’t using them. This will help direct water more effectively.
Save at the Sink
When you are brushing your teeth or shaving at the bathroom sink, be sure to leave the water off until you are finished. Leaving the sink running while brushing your teeth can collectively waste thousands of gallons of water each day. This may be a hard habit to break, but this one change can take a significant chunk off your next water bill.
Check the Toilet
Overlooked, a toilet leak can waste up to nearly 200 gallons of water per day! The toilet is responsible for over 25% of an average family’s indoor water usage, so an unnoticed problem can cost a pretty penny. To check your toilet for leaks, put several drops of food coloring into the tank on the back of the toilet. If you see coloring in the bowl after a few minutes, you may have an issue and should take measures to fix the problem.
The Dish on Dishes
Trying filling the sink with water to pre-rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. You can save water by removing the process of rinsing dishes with consistently running water and also reducing the load on your dishwasher. Be sure to only run the dishwasher and washing machine for laundry only when you have a full load. Dishwashers and washing machines use large amounts of water to function. Make the
most of the amount of water you consume.
Change Your Fridge Filter
When it comes to drinking water, you’ll want to make sure that its healthy and clean. Did you know that you should change your fridge filter at least once every six months? By having a working refrigerator water filter, you can remove harsh impurities from your home’s tap water supply to ensure that the water you consume is clear, clean, and healthy for drinking.