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Saving Money on Water
October 19, 2009
This week I have five tips to save you money on the gas bill and water bill, if you are metered.
1. Reduce your hot water thermostat. Whether you are using your water or not, the water heater will turn on to keep the water at a set temperature ready for when you need it. If you set your water temperature higher than necessary, you will pay extra over time keeping it at that temperature. Your thermostat should have a "Normal" setting. This is where it should be to a) save on water heating costs and b) keep rust buildup in the hot water tank to a minimum. If the temperature is set too low, rust will develop.
Reducing your water temperature is wise simply because of the safety factor. If it is set too high, you can scald yourself or your can children to scald themselves. They can become disfigured or at the very least suffer needless pain.
2. Take showers instead of baths. You will save water. Remember that every time you shower or bathe, it costs you in water consumption, sewage fees and water heating. The savings from showering cover many utility costs. If you want to see the difference between bathing and showering, next time you take a shower, plug the bathtub and see how full it gets by the time you are done. If you have installed a water-saving shower head, you will notice that you use less water by showering.
3. Install a shower head that conserves water. Some municipalities provide these as a free service to homeowners so check with them first. Otherwise, buy one from your local hardware store.
They are not expensive but are cost effective in the long run. Be sure to choose a shower head that specifies that it conserves water.
4. Take shorter showers. While it's refreshing and soothing to take nice long, hot showers, keep them to a minimum. For regular bathing, keep your shower down to under 10 minutes to save on water and related costs.
5. Make tap repairs immediately. If you have a tap that drips or a shower that doesn't switch from bath to shower properly, fix it as soon as possible to save on water bills. If the water continues to run out the spout when you turn it on to the shower setting, you are pouring water down the drain at a tremendous rate. When this happens, it means that something inside the mechanism has not dropped into place properly. In some older spouts where you pull the plunger to switch to shower, a small washer has deteriorated and must be replaced. Check the instructions for your particular taps to see what might be wrong.
Remember, every little bit helps. If you have a tip for me or a general budgeting question, hit the reply button and let me know.
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