Have you ever noticed how your water bill always seems to increase during summertime? Usually, the most significant reasons for this have to do with spending more time at home and using more water outdoors. However, there are multiple ways to save water around the house during this time of year, and we’ve compiled the list below to help you out!
1. Make sure not to overwater your yard.
The EPA reports that as much as 50 percent of the water we use outdoors goes to waste due to run-off, evaporation, and wind. We can all cut back on this wasted water by ensuring that we’re watering our lawns and landscaping the correct amount. For the most part, your yard should only need a half-inch of water twice a week, including any amount that comes from rain.
To see how long you should be running your sprinklers during each of these sessions, try this:
Get a few, shallows cans (the height of tuna or cat food cans), and put a mark half an inch from the bottom inside of each can.
Place the cans around your yard.
Turn on your sprinklers and start a stopwatch at the same time.
Mark the amount of time it takes for water to reach that half-inch mark in the cans. That’s how long you should be running your sprinklers twice a week.
2. Water your yard in the morning.
Early morning is the ideal time of day to water your yard for a couple of reasons. The soil will have time to absorb the water before the sun’s heat causes it to evaporate. While you can avoid the problem of evaporation by watering at night, your yard will be more prone to mildew and fungus issues.
3. Use pasta water wisely.
If you’re like most people, you’re putting too much water in the pot to boil your pasta (and probably other foods too). On most pasta packages and in many recipes, the instructions will tell you to boil four to six quarts of water. However, tests from Epicurious showed that most pasta cooked just as well in half that amount. Generally, you just need all of the noodles to be covered so that they can cook evenly. Also, if you aren’t using pasta water in a homemade sauce, save it to water your houseplants instead of pouring it down the drain.
4. Place aerators in all of your sink faucets.
You should never skimp on handwashing simply to save water! Proper handwashing is a critical habit we should all practice to protect our health and the health of others. However, while washing your hands for a full 20 seconds or more, as the CDC recommends, a lot of water will end up down the drain.
You can reduce the amount of water that comes out of your faucet by placing an aerator inside it. An aerator narrows the faucet’s opening and inserts air bubbles into the water stream so that you still feel a steady supply of water coming out. By adding aerators to all of your faucets, the EPA estimates that you can reduce your water usage by around 700 gallons per year.
5. Run your dishwasher as opposed to handwashing.
Compared with newer, more efficient dishwasher models, handwashing requires both more water and more energy to get your dishes clean. If you own an Energy Star certified model, you can save almost 5,000 gallons of water annually by using your dishwasher instead of handwashing. Keep in mind: this is only true if you run full loads, so try to hold off until the top and bottoms racks are completely full.
Leaks Can Also Increase Your Water Bill!
Even leaks that seem small can add up in money and wasted water. According to EPA research, a leaky faucet that drips once per second can waste over 3,000 gallons annually--enough to supply you with 180 showers! If you spot a leak, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team at The Rooter Works Plumbing and Drains: (614) 412-3324.