Water use is a major part of homeowners’ annual utility costs. There are several ways to reduce household water consumption to conserve this precious resource and save money at the same time.
- Collect rainwater. New Jersey gets its share of rain, and that roof run-off can be saved in barrels for future use. This is “gray water” that is not potable, but it can water plants and be used for washing your car. A reusable 55-gallon rain barrel kit with screens to keep out insects and debris, PVC couplings and a small hose is available at most home improvement stores.
- Use an Energy-Star-rated dishwasher and washing machine designed to use less water and power. Wash clothing in cold settings for the correct load size to avoid wasting water. Front-loading washers are considered the most efficient.
- Replace shower heads, and water faucets in the bathroom and kitchen sink with water-saving low-flow models. Newer shower heads use 1.5 gallons per minute and faucets can use as little as .5 gallons per minute. Sensor faucets with timers save water and can be pre-heated to a comfortable temperature.
- Low-flow toilets are the way to go. Cut flush water from 3.5 gallons per flush to 1.6 gpf with new toilets or changes to your old toilets. Save 30 percent on your water bill.
- Install an “on-demand” timer for your water heater so you don’t have to waste water while waiting for it to warm up in your sink and shower. Hot water recirculating systems deliver hot water immediately, saving energy as well as water. Gas-fueled tankless water heaters are very efficient at saving energy but tend to be more expensive.
Regular preventive maintenance of plumbing and upgrading fixtures are important in controlling household water consumption, energy, and repair costs.
Pipe Works Services, serving northern New Jersey since 1988, has trained technicians familiar with water-saving fixtures that are easily installed in your home. Contact us for more information on conserving water and saving energy. Check us out on Angie’s List and Facebook.