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Blog Oct 24, 2013

How to Lower Water Bill

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So you’re probably done watering the lawn and keeping it looking perfect by now, but you can still waste water a number of different ways throughout the winter.  It’s tough also when you have several family members to keep on the same page.

Here are some things you can do during the winter to keep that water usage low and your savings high:

During the times of the year when you aren’t concerned with tasks like watering the lawn or other chores that require the use of a considerable amount of water, it is still possible to waste it in a number of different ways. This is even true in the winter. And for those who are trying to manage a household with several occupants who require the use of water each and every day, it can be challenging to help your loved ones get a grip on their waste. At the end of the day, this comes at a cost for the one left with the water bill, but that ends today as this expense can be reduced using a few easy tips.

Here is how to lower the water bill in 10 ways

1. Use the garbage disposal sparingly

In order to operate effectively, the garbage disposal within our homes requires a considerable amount of water. Not only does it take more water to get those chunks to go down the drain, but regardless of what you toss down into the disposal, accumulation will occur over time.  At some point, either you or your plumber will have to remove the debris. Instead, simply avoid tossing anything down there at all and either compost it or throw it away. Not only will it save water, it can save the time and energy required to clean it out or fix any problems that can be caused by disposal operation over time.  

2. Minimize water softener refills

Included in the water in our homes are other substances such as minerals that vary in concentration based on where you live and where you get your water from. This buildup within water can be hard on appliances but its presence can be reduced through the use of water softeners. At the same time however, these chemicals can be quite harmful to the environment and can cost you more as the process of softening takes place within the system. By minimizing your refills you’ll also save on the cost of chemicals, which may not cause a lower water bill but it will put some useful dollars back into your pocket.

3. Establish a monthly water budget

One effective method for lowering the water bill is establishing a monthly water budget for your home. This particular method of reducing your expenses does take a ton of work but it does offer homeowners sizeable savings should they be able to follow it.  In order to create your plan, you will need to analyze how much water your family members use and when they use it. From there, the challenge becomes setting a reasonable limit and sticking to it. It is important your goals are achievable so that you can reach them and stay encouraged instead of setting lofty ones that cause you to be dismayed when you fail to achieve them. As you meet your goals or exceed the expectation you set, be sure to reward your family members.

4. Check your water meter for leaks

The water meter is a device that is used to measure water use within a home. On an annual basis, leaks in the plumbing throughout our homes account for households losing thousands of gallons. The water meter is capable of detecting waste by determining water usage that occurs after water has been turned off both inside and outside of the home for testing. Concluding that there is indeed a leak is not always easy because someone in your family could just be using more water than usual. Luckily, once you have a sense for your water budget and how closely your family sticks to it, you’ll know how much water you use in an average month. If everyone’s been using water as promised, then you know a leak may be present somewhere.

5. Winterize outdoor spigots

In the winter, the outdoor faucets in our homes are subject to damage as the conditions can make it difficult to keep them in working condition. In order to avoid this however and to save yourself money, winterizing your spigots can beneficial. To do this, remove the various connections from your spigot and check to make sure there are no leaks. If there are any, be sure to fix them. From there you will want to remove as much water from your pipes as possible and install insulation where you can to further protect your home. Following through on these steps will help you to prevent having your pipes freeze and burst.

6. Soak pots and pans

One of the easiest methods for falling victim to water waste involves using the sink for cleaning purposes. This is particularly true when it comes to removing food debris from dishware which often results in leaving the sink running as cleaning takes place. Especially for those baked on grease stains, trying to get them out without the use of water would be particularly difficult. Instead of relying on letting the water run however, one method for cleaning out pots and pans involves letting them soak. This will break up the remnants left on plates and make them much easier to remove.

7. Fix leaks

Small dripping leaks can cause the loss of up to 140 gallons of water a week in your home. Even leaks that appear to be insignificant can add up to be much more than you think. Leaks can occur in a number of places like pipes, faucets, toilets, and the dishwasher. Keep your eyes peeled and make sure you have a working knowledge of where the water shut-off valve is located for your plumbing system should you need to quickly cut it off in order to address a leak. In the event that your usage seems to be higher than you can account for and you are quite certain of your water consumption, it may be beneficial to look into finding a leak, which may account for the increase in your bill.

8. Match water level to the laundry load

One chore that uses water and electricity and subsequently contributes to our water bill is clothes washing. In reducing the cost of doing laundry, there are several ways to go about minimizing the water and energy used. First, consider investing in energy efficient appliances. Energy Star certified washing machines use only as much water as is needed to clean your things, saving you with each wash. Relying on your washer machine to clean larger loads is also a method for reducing the amount of water that is consumed because it only causes an uptick in usage when the amount of dirty clothes justifies it.

9. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth

There are different aspects of our everyday lives that don’t stand out to us but may cause us to waste even more water than we know. One of the most prominent examples of this is cleaning our teeth, which is done at least twice a day. Though it only takes two minutes, leaving the sink running as you brush can waste up to 4 gallons a minute. Instead of keeping the faucet going, turn it on only to wet and clean your brush. Simply keeping the water from running while you scrub your teeth will keep you from using it unnecessarily and will enable you to lower your water bill.

10. Shorter Showers

In the same vein as teeth brushing is showering, which accounts for a staggering amount of water that is used each day in our homes. And if you are someone who enjoys long showers or multiple showers a day, you may be wasting gallon upon gallon of water while also costing yourself both in terms of water and the energy needed to warm it. To reduce that expense, cut the time you spend in the shower by a few minutes. The average amount of water used per minute is 2.1 gallons while the average shower time is 8.2 minutes. Simply cutting off 2 minutes from that can save 4 gallons of water. You can also enlist the aid of low-flow shower heads which reduce the flow of water during a shower and can help to minimize the amount of water used even further.  

Freeze Your Water Bills with this Advice

These tips will get your water bill started on its descent but do not represent the only ways to lower your expenses. As you go about giving each tip a try, find the ones that work for your household and that have the biggest impact on the costs of your water. Keep on the lookout for other ways to save on water and make any necessary changes that will help you to put more money back into your pocket. Not only can you feel good about your savings, the implications of cutting the water bill will also benefit the environment.

If you’re interested in learning more about saving money in your home, then check out Payless Power. Offering low-cost energy plans to suit both residential and business needs, Payless Power is a company committed to providing people with some of the best electricity rates in Texas, but also with helpful customer service. Visit the website to learn more about how to save electricity at home, or connect with the online community on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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