Paying attention to local news stories, you can clearly see that water bills across the nation are expected to rise.
- Houma Courier, Louisiana
- Northeaster Georgian, Georgia
- Chicago Sun-Times, USA
I could go on and on with a slew of source links but as a dude that has taken up home improvement as a minor hobby, I would rather spend my time being positive and explain to you how you can cut your water bill.
The average home utilizes water in the following ways, but not limited to:
- Water Faucets
- Washing Machines
- Flushing of toilets
The majority of water is used while taking showers. The amount of water you use is regulated by the flow rate of the shower head you have installed. The industry standard for showerheads is 2.5 gallons per minute. I estimate 1 gallon of water to be about 1 cent when factoring in the heating costs to heat up the water used in your shower.
So if you take a 10 minute shower, you spend about 25 cents a day. Multiply that by 4 persons in a home and you spend a $1 a day just taking showers. Nobody wants to cut down on their showers, but there are showerheads that reduce the flow rate to about 1.25 gpm or 1.5 gpm… saving you approximately $15 a month.
But before you think your shower will become puny and weak, it won’t if you buy the right showerhead. I tested out several of the showerheads… The Earth Massage showerhead utilizes 1.25 gallons per minute and is somewhat okay but I would not recommend it to those that are picky about their showers! The patented Jet-Stream Showerhead is the way to go. It is 1.5 gallons per minute and the pressure is strong, making your shower much better than your traditional 2.5 gallon a minute shower. I bought mine on Ebay. These typically cost you about $30 each but you make that money back in about 2 months.
The traditional faucet aerator uses 2.2 gallons per minute but all you really need is 0.5 gallons per minute for many of the faucets you use in your bathroom. I purchased my water faucet aerators from the website USALandlord.com, a great resource for landlords looking to save money on their water bills.
USA Landlord is a WBE or Women’s Business Enterprise, a 100% women owned business… and I am not affiliated with them nor do I get any commissions from any sales I help them get.
Here is a video:
USALandlord also sells the Earth Massage Showerheads I mentioned above but they do not have the Jet-Stream I recommend.
Washing machines use a lot of water and we recommend not using hot water unless you need it. Just think of all the heating energy you waste, and most typical laundry detergents work just as well in cold water.
If money is really tight and/or you are an “environmental wacko” (I say that term with love)… then you can also do this: Instead of letting the cold water drain when turning on your shower in the mornings, trap it in a bucket and put it in your washing machine for later usage. There is about 1.5 to 2.0 gallons of cold water that comes out before the hot water is ready.
Front loading washing machines are more water efficient than top-loading ones. So if you are in the market for a new washing machine, take that into consideration.
There are home improvement specialist companies that can institute a water recycling system in your home. Imagine having the system trap your shower water and washing machine water to water your plants outside. Having talked to the owner of such a company, he mentioned that only recently has this caught on. I don’t know much about gardening to speak of whether or not this would affect the plants or not?
Flushing of Toilets
The industry standard for toilets is to use 6 liters of water (1.6 gallons) per flush. There is new technology out there that reduces that to 1.1 gallons per flush. I cannot speak as to how sanitary that is nor can I speak to whether they work but I added that tidbit of info here for completeness. USALandlord.com has 1.28gpf toilets.