As a nation, we’re consuming more water than ever. According to the EPA, the average American family of four uses 400 gallons of water per day. While consumption doesn’t pose an immediate threat to our environment, it certainly impacts future fresh water supply, water resources planning as well as our energy bills. Water is one of our Earth’s most precious resources, and every household’s water habits play a part in the quality and quantity of fresh water that is available to us – now and for years to come.
On average, it’s estimated that 60-70% of that water is used indoors, with the bathroom being the largest consumer. In order to take steps towards decreasing consumption, it’s important to know where we’re using the most water in our daily activities.
To do your part in conservation check out these suggestions for inside and outside of your home…
It’s natural to blame excessive water use in the kitchen on the dishwasher, but this only accounts for a small percentage of consumption. Truthfully, your lack of awareness is probably the culprit when it comes to how much water is wasted. Here are some tips…
- Instead of scrubbing soiled pots and pans with the water running, soak them.
- Let drinking water chill in the refrigerator as opposed to running the tap until it’s cold.
- Only run the dishwasher when it’s completely full.
- Consider upgrading your standard dishwasher with an energy efficient model.
More water flows through your bathroom than any other room in the house. Based on the image above, it’s clear that close to ½ of the water your family consumes is in the bathroom. Fortunately, there are many practices you can put in place to cut back…
- Trade long baths for short showers.
- Don’t use your toilet as a trash can—it’s meant to dispose of toilet paper, nothing else.
- Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth and shaving.
- Inspect plumbing fixtures for drips and leaks.
Clothes washers account for a good portion of our home’s water consumption, so it’s important to be mindful of how you do laundry. Even the smallest adjustments can save big. Here’s what you should do…
- Use the right water level for the load, if your unit has an auto-load feature, utilize it.
- Measure out laundry detergent, using too much can lengthen the rinse cycle.
- Heavy-duty settings use more water and extend rinse time–normal settings work fine
for most loads.
- Only wash full loads (but don’t overstuff!) and use cold water whenever possible.
It’s estimated that more than half of the water we use outdoors is for watering lawns and gardens. In Central Virginia, summer delivered hot, dry weather. Just like us, you’re probably guilty of over-watering. Here are a few tips to boost moisture and reduce water consumption outside…
- Allow your grass to grow longer, and when you do cut, raise your lawnmower’s height.
- Leave grass clippings from mowing on your lawn, they retain moisture.
- Water your lawn early in the day, this is when water evaporates slower and absorbs faster.
- Use water collection barrels or install gutters and downspouts that direct rainwater to your
plants and trees.
Proper precautions and preventative measures
Fixing leaks and drips, especially those in the bathroom, is key to conserving water and lowering energy bills. Perhaps your faucet persistently drips. Maybe the toilet runs longer than it should following a flush. Or, the showerhead leaks long after a shower is over. Although these are minor nuisances and not emergencies, it’s critical to fix leaks immediately to save water, money and extend the life of your plumbing fixtures.
The technicians at Carroll Plumbing & Heating Inc. are experienced in nearly all makes and models of appliances and plumbing fixtures. From identifying and diagnosing the problem, to quickly repairing it, we keep you going with the flow. To learn more about water conservation methods to practice at home, or to schedule plumbing maintenance or repairs, contact us today.