How to Save Money On Your Utilities and Water Bills
Whether you have city water or get your water from a well, there are costs for your water in Kansas City. With city water, you typically get a monthly bill that includes your water usage along with sewer fees. For homes with wells, it costs electricity to pump the water out of the ground into the home. You also have added costs of maintenance of the good system and your septic tank.
Saving energy can be as simple as turning off your ceiling fans and light bulbs when not in the room (as well as replacing the incandescent light bulbs with new LED bulbs, which can be found at local retailers as well as Amazon and elsewhere), using smart power strips instead of unplugging devices that aren’t in use, as well as stopping air leaks with caulk and weatherstripping can all lead to a reduction in the amount of energy your home uses which directly impacts your utility costs.
In addition, both types of methods have costs for heating hot water in a hot water heater and operating a whole house water filtration system. There are several things you can do to reduce utilities and water bills while also helping to conserve water. We will review tips for specific areas of your home, as well as general tips for reducing your utility bills and water usage.
Tips for reducing your water heating bill:
- Install low-flow faucets and showerheads throughout your home.
- Insulate the electric hot-water storage tank, but do not cover the thermostat. We suggest that you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- If you have a leaky faucet, repair it right away as thousands of gallons of water are wasted on leaky faucets each year.
- When buying a new washer or dishwasher, consider buying a water-saving ENERGY STAR® model.
- Every three months, drain one quart of water from the water tank to remove any sediment that reduces heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your unit.
- When you are in the market for a new water heater, look for one with an ENERGY STAR® label.
- For long-term savings, consider a tankless water heater, or a natural gas on-demand unit.
When reducing your electric bill or energy bills by conserving on the heating of your water, homeowners can also save money on utilities by reducing the amount of water they use! This can both save you money and save the planet, as according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), less than 1% of all of the water on Earth can be used by people. The rest of the water is salt water (found in the ocean), or it is permanently frozen so we can’t use it for drinking, washing, or watering plants.
As the population grows, more people are using up this vital, yet limited resource. Therefore, it is essential that we use the Earth’s water wisely so we do not waste it.
11 Tips For Reducing Water Usage
- Never dump water down the drain when there could be another use for it such as watering a plant or cleaning. Even pouring water from an old water bottle onto the grass is better than pouring it down the drain.
- If you have a dripping faucet, replace the washer. If a faucet is dripping at the rate of one drip per a second, you can waste 2,700 gallons a year.
- Is your toilet tank leaking? To check, add food coloring to the tank. If there is a leak, the color will appear within 30 minutes. Replace any worn out, corroded, or bent parts. (As soon as the test is done, flush since the food coloring can stain the tank.)
- Avoid flushing unnecessary items such as tissues or insects down the toilet. Instead, throw them in the trash.
- Replace your shower heads with ultra-low-flow versions. Some shower heads on the market allow you to cut off the flow while you lather, without affecting the temperature.
- Don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth, shaving, washing your face or hands.
- If you have wasteful household faucets, you can retrofit them by installing aerators with flow restrictors.
- Instead of thawing frozen foods with cold or running water, defrost them overnight in the refrigerator, or use the defrost setting on the microwave.
- Insulate the water pipes in your home. Insulation allows the water to heat up faster while wasting less water.
- You may want to install an instant water heater under the kitchen sink so you don’t have to run water while it heats up. Such a unit will reduce the heating costs for your household too.
- Does your toilet handle often stick in the flush position, where it lets the water flow constantly? If so, adjust or replace it.
Another way of saving on energy costs can come by way of installing a new air conditioning that is energy efficient, as the air conditioners of today’s HVAC systems have made such strides in energy efficiency as compared to decades past, and the energy savings that comes with HVAC system like the one, use less energy while keeping the cold airflow coming. If a new HVAC system isn’t possible due to budgeting, then a smart thermostat, which allows you to adjust peak hours, temperatures and more, will help save energy while keeping your home comfortable – and when you combine both an energy efficient HVAC system and a new programmable thermostat you can see an impact on your personal finance and utility bills.
Utility companies can sometimes offer rebates, or reduced rates, if you install certain high-efficiency systems, water heaters, water leak detection devices and other home improvement items, as well as possible tax incentives from the Department of Energy and other government programs.
If you’re looking for ways of reducing energy consumption for a particular area of your home, we have some tips below that may help!
- Replace faucets with low-flow faucets with aerators. These do not reduce water pressure, yet help reduce the amount of water coming out of the faucet.
- Get a high efficiency (HE) dishwasher to do dishes. Using an HE dishwasher uses less water than washing dishes by hand. Plus, with most modern dishwashers, there is no need to pre-rinse dishes, saving you even more water.
- Chill water in the refrigerator for drinking. Instead of waiting for water to get cold out of the faucet or wasting water while waiting for it to get hot, collect the water and keep it in the fridge instead.
- Install low-flow shower heads and faucets with aerators. Both upgrades help reduce water usage.
- Install a low-flush toilet or upgrade an existing toilet. There are low-flush toilets and upgrades you can put on existing toilets that use less water when you flush.
- Upgrade to an HE washer and dryer. An HE washer uses less water, while an HE dryer uses less electricity.
- Run the dishwasher only when it is full.
- Only launder full wash loads.
- Collect rainwater in buckets and use these to water plants or wash your car.
- Shut off the water while you brush your teeth.
- Fill a sink with warm water for shaving.
- Mulch gardens and flower beds to trap moisture near the ground and reduce how often you need to water plants.
- Landscape with plants, shrubs, and trees that require less water.
Insulate your plumbing pipes. Have a professional insulate both hot and cold water lines in your home. This will provide cold water and hot water much faster.
Inspect the home for water leaks and have these fixed/repaired immediately. A slow-dripping faucet or leaky pipe can waste thousands of gallons of water annually, not to mention could cause potential damage to your home in Kansas City.
Call A-1 Sewer & Septic today to get started on a whole-home plumbing inspection, to see how we can help!