How to Save Water at Home and Save Money on Bills This SummerPosted on: July 5, 2019
We’re now just getting into the start of summer and hot, humid summer days are coming. With the rising temperatures comes an increase in water use for most Canadian households, which in turn means a spike in your monthly water bill. So we thought we’d take this time to share some ways to save water at home this summer so you don’t get punched in the wallet with a huge water bill.
Many households experience a dramatic increase in water usage during the summer. Maybe it’s because we take more showers to avoid getting sweaty and smelly. And yes, also the lawn sprinkling, garden watering, car washing, and other yard and garden activities where we use a lot of water. Of course, when we use more water we can expect to see our water bill go up. Now, for a homeowner with lots of debt to pay off and a very tight household budget to manage, a huge spike in your water bill is the last thing you want to see. You have to save money in the budget wherever you can, and reducing water usage, especially during the summer months when you use up more than usual can go a long way in helping to save money on bills.
These tips will greatly help save water usage at home this summer.
Let’s start indoors.
Repair water leaks
The City of Toronto has confirmed to residents that leaky faucets or toilets attribute to higher bills. It is best, therefore, to regularly check if you have any water leak issues in your house that you need to attend to and fast so you don’t waste thousands of litres of water and end up with a massive water bill.
You can do DIY repair on many water leak issues in the home. If you have faucets that are leaking, all you have to do is replace worn-out washers. To check if you have leaky toilets, just do the toilet test. Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank or drop a dye tablet into the toilet tank and lightly stir it. After a few minutes, if the water in your bowl turns color, then your toilet is leaking. You can fix this yourself by replacing with an inexpensive rubber flapper. However, if the toilet is leaking around the base, you will need some professional help to fix this.
Adjust the flow
An easy fix that will save you money and reduce your water use is to regulate the amount of water flowing out of the tap. One effective way is to install low-flow faucet aerators in your kitchen or bathroom sinks. Aerators are inexpensive devices and they can reduce water flow by 25 to 50 per cent. Another way that can save you much in water costs is to use low-flow showerheads, which can reduce water use by about half the amount of water as with a standard flow rate shower head.
Retrofit your toilet
About 30% of water use in the home is caused by toilet flushing. Now, if you really think about it, you don’t need that much to cleanly flush your toilet. A full-flush toilet uses about 18 litres of water per flush, but if you use a low-flow toilet, you can lower water use to just six litres per flush.
Before buying a new toilet, check first if you already have a low flow toilet. Look between the seat and tank for a flush volume stamp. You might find this on the walls of the tank or on the lid itself. There might also be a date stamp inside the tank. If you see a “1.6 gpf or 1.28 gpf,” your toilet is already a low-flow model. If you can’t afford to buy a new toilet just yet, you can simply buy a $10 water retention, displacement or alternative flushing device which you can find at most hardware stores to reduce the water flow of your current toilet.
Now, let’s go outside your home.
Outdoor water use during the summer months can spike consumption by as much as 50%. So, here’s what you can do to save water at home this summer when you are out on your garden or yard.
One easy tip to follow is to water your lawn at night or early in the morning, ideally before 9:00 am. This way you avoid the heat of the day and reduce evaporation, allowing water to properly sink into the ground. Also, avoid overwatering. Generally, lawns need only about 2.5 cm of water every week. If you have a sprinkler system, you can plan a watering schedule by setting up the timer and making sure that the water comes on at the exact time you’ve scheduled it, and that it does turn off accordingly so that you avoid wasting water on your yard.
Another simple way to help reduce evaporation and thus use less water is to set your lawnmower to maximum height. This way when you cut the grass you leave it just a little taller so that it shades the soil and prevents water to evaporate giving time for the water to soak below the soil surface. The deep watering method lets you use less water because you only need to deep water once a week while at the same time you ensure that water gets to the roots of plants and trees.
Landscape using native and drought-resistant plants
Another advise that the City of Toronto would like residents to follow is to plant native plants and trees in your garden or yard. Common plants and trees like Sugar maple, Red maple, Canada anemone, Cinnamon fern, Lowbush blueberry, Balsam firs, Manzanitas, Black-eyed susan, Red osier dogwood are low maintenance and naturally drought-tolerant which means they will need less water to thrive in the local environment. Not only that, they’ll also help give shade, privacy, color to your property and will help keep your home and yard cooler in the summer – which will help lower your air conditioning costs, too! 😉
It’s really worth it to make the effort to save water at home especially during the summertime because it’s one of the best ways you can save money on your utility bills. It may not seem like a lot of money to save each month, but if you can maintain regular savings in this way every month it can add up significantly over the course of a year.
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