From turning off the water while you brush your teeth to limiting your showers to less than 10 minutes, there are dozens of well-known ways to cut back on your water consumption. What many homeowners don’t realize is that, above all, simply updating their plumbing is the most effective way to save on their monthly hydro bills. Here are 5 small plumbing projects that will minimize water waste and save you money!
Fix Your Leaky Faucets
Contrary to popular belief, hiring a plumber can actually save you money. On average, one leaky faucet wastes five gallons of water in just one day. Over the course of a year, this adds up to nearly two thousand gallons and hundreds of wasted dollars. The cost of hiring a plumber will quickly be offset by monthly savings on your hydro bill. A plumber or handyman can also attach faucet aerators to your most-used appliances, which can reduce your water consumption by 25-50% per tap. Even better, a low-flow showerhead can cut back your water usage by 40-60%.
Insulate Your Pipes
If you’re living in an older home, have a plumber or home inspector come by and check for poorly insulated pipes. Burst pipes are one of the most common and expensive causes of property damage in North America. As the cold weather sets in, the air pressure in your pipes will start to build as a result of freezing and thawing cycles. Once the temperature dips below 6 degrees, this pressure can lead to cracked and burst pipes. Pay close attention to the state of pipes running through attics, basements, and crawl spaces, as pipes in these areas are most susceptible to damage. A plumber or handyman can easily protect your home by installing additional pipe insulation, fibreglass sleeves, or heat cables.
Stop Your Running Toilet
Research has proven that the most common culprit of a rising water bill is a running toilet. A running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day, which is double the typical family’s daily water use. As soon as you hear the telltale rattle of a running toilet, contact a plumber before you feel the effect on your wallet. For additional savings, have a pro install a dual-flush or low-flow toilet.
Invest in Energy Efficient Machines
Over the course of a year, you can save big by making a small improvement to your daily routine. The only problem is that most homeowners are too preoccupied to be conscious of their water consumption on a daily basis. That’s what makes energy efficient appliances the perfect solution for busy homeowners – they’ll do the thinking for you!
Luckily for all of us who don’t enjoy this particular chore, new dishwashers have proven to be far more energy efficient than washing by hand. On average, hand washing uses around 27 gallons of water, whereas new Energy Star certified appliances use as little as three gallons per load. New dishwashers with built-in heaters also save energy by limiting the use of your water heater. If you’re ready to make the switch, click here to find an appliance retailer near you.
About 20% of a home’s total water use goes towards doing the laundry. To maximize your washing machine’s efficiency, make sure your machine is at least three-quarters full before running it. Another trick is to pre-soak tough stains, which will help you avoid having to wash an item multiple times. The most effective solution, however, is to replace your dated laundry machine with Energy Star certified model. These machines use 40% less water than conventional alternatives. After finding the right machine for your home, find a trusted professional to install it.
Canada is one of the world’s largest consumers of water meaning there’s lots of room for improvement. Don’t forget that these upgrades aren’t only great for your finances – they have the added benefit of drastically reducing your household’s environmental impact. Don’t waste another gallon – contact a plumber today.
Cover image courtesy of Dicimo.