Ways to Conserve Water in Your Home
In the arid Colorado Front Range, many of us would like to reduce our water consumption and do our part to help preserve this valuable natural resource. Along the way, we’re also eager to help reduce our monthly water bill. Our team at Save Home Heat Company has compiled a list of many ways you can reduce water consumption at home:
If It Rained, Don’t Water
There’s really no need to water your lawn or flowerbeds if it rained recently. In the Denver-Boulder area, keep an eye peeled for our summer ‘monsoon season,’ in particular, and let Mother Nature take care of watering whenever you can. Speaking of automation, some sprinkler systems feature rain sensors that will automatically shut off the sprinklers during times of rainfall.
Water at Night
The best time to water your lawn and plants is at night because more water will be absorbed into the soil and retained for plant growth. Much less moisture will be lost to evaporation, compared to when the sun is up and shining. For homes with sprinkler systems, this strategy is easy to accomplish and is typically standard operating procedure.
Upgrade Your Toilets
Older toilets might use up to four times as much water as current models, especially here in Colorado with our strict toilet water consumption standards. Considering that your toilets are one of the greatest water-consuming appliances in your home, it makes good sense to consider upgrading to new low-flow or dual-flush models. A great long term investment for a growing family, or for any homeowner who’s concerned about dwindling water supplies.
Try Low-Flow Showerheads & Faucet Aerators
This idea doesn’t always work out well for everyone – the ability to adjust to low-flow spray patterns varies by the individual – but lots of people have made the switch to low-flow faucet aerators and showerheads. The best place to start for advice and products is your local, full-service hardware store. Get some input before you buy, and if you’re handy with a wrench or two, this is something that you may not need to call your plumber to help you with – but we’re glad to assist, if needed!
Is Your Household Water Pressure Too High?
In many communities around the Boulder-Denver area, water pressure from the local utility varies throughout the year. More than occasionally, the water pressure delivered to some of our homes reaches the 80 psi (pounds per square inch) range. Water pressures in this range may not only create failure issues for automatic water valves in appliances such as dish and clothes washers, and icemakers, but can also result in wasted water in your daily shower and faucet use. How? By delivering more water than is needed, quicker than it can be used. The result: excessive water lost down the drain. Like with a dripping toilet valve, a little bit of wasted water can add up pretty quick.
Part of the solution to this all-too-common issue that our plumbers come across regularly is to make sure that your home has a whole-house pressure reducing valve (PRV), and that it’s adjusted and operating properly. (Personal usage habits are, of course, another important factor.) PRVs reduce higher municipal water pressure to a range that’s better for your home and for your water consumption. They are now quite common in residential new construction. We recommend that you have your home’s water pressure checked, and consider adding a PRV to your system if you don’t have one, or if yours is no longer doing its job.
Consider Xeriscaping Your Property
Instead of having to take meticulous care of a lush lawn or water-demanding flower beds, look into xeriscaping some or all of your property. Choose plants that don’t have high water needs, and a design that requires minimal irrigation and watering. Match your plants’ locations with the amount of sun exposure and shade that’s best for them, and mulch heavily. If you’re planting new trees, look into species that have low water requirements. This just gets you started. There are volumes of reading out there on the subject, and many experienced landscape contractors who you can turn to for advice or complete service.
Upgrade Older Water-Consuming Appliances
Dishwashers and washing machines are great time-savers, but if you have older equipment, they may be costing you money in wasted water, as well as electricity costs. We recommend you consider looking into the long-term savings provided by new appliances that are more in line with today’s standards.
Call Us For All Your Plumbing Needs – and More!
Being careful and thoughtful about your home water usage will assist the planet, as well as help with your monthly water bill. Save Home Heat Company has been helping Denver-Boulder area homeowners make their homes more efficient since 1979. Our full line of expert home services includes heating and cooling, indoor air quality, plumbing and hot water systems, and electrical.
While many of the ideas presented above don’t fall under our company umbrella, please give us a call if you’d like to learn more about low-flow or dual flush toilets, or whole-house pressure reducing valves to help you save water and money. We’d be glad to answer all your questions and provide free, low-pressure quotes for any work you’re considering.