With the new year right behind us, many people are focused less on the common resolutions like losing weight, exercising, and quitting bad habits, and more on life-changing ones like helping the environment, making a big impact in the world, and saving money.
Why does plumbing have anything to do with your new year’s resolutions then? Easy! When you focus on fixing your plumbing problems, you are knocking out three of them in one – you’ll save money on your water bill and electricity, make a huge impact across the world through conservation, and help the environment by depleting less resources all at the same time.
Are you ready to learn more about how you can fix your plumbing and make good on your resolutions starting now? Read on!
8 Ways to Use Plumbing to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Happen
By adapting a few changes in how you currently use your plumbing or updating a few obsolete appliances, you will see a big change in your water and electric usage. Here are just a few ways that focusing on the way you use your plumbing appliances can make a difference in your pocket and benefit the rest of the world at the same time.
1. Dirty dishes have to go somewhere! Do you hate washing dishes by hand and absolutely love your dishwasher? Are you worried that some environmentalist somewhere is going to say “Get rid of that wasteful thing!” Well, you can have your dishwasher and use it, too…if you get an energy efficient model!
Today’s energy efficient dishwashers use less water per cycle. They clean your dishes thoroughly, even with a limited pre-rinse. But to make sure you are making the best use of your water, your money, and your electricity, only run your dishwasher when you have a full load.
2. Use your sink water the right way. For those who prefer the traditional hand-washing method of cleaning dirty dishes – or those for whom a dishwasher is not an option – it’s perfectly fine to wash your dishes in your sink but do it like they did in the olden days and fill your sink up with water instead of leaving the faucet running.
Some people use their sink as a way to thaw their frozen foods, too, but it’s more efficient to use your refrigerator for this issue than to run warm water over the food or leave it in a sink full of water.
3. Check out your water system. Sometimes the inefficiency in your water delivery is because some of the faucets in your house are too far away from the water heater. In this case, a water recirculation system might be worth the investment. You could also consider installing a tankless water heater in those rooms (or anywhere!) for immediate hot water without the extra wait time and the wasted electricity used keeping your water hot all of the time.
4. Just how efficient are your toilets, anyway? If you have not replaced your toilet recently, chances are you are literally flushing water (and therefore money) right down your drain. Almost one-third of the average home’s water use is from the flushing of their toilet, and it’s not all necessary.
Toilets are a serious drain on your water and energy bill. If you are looking to save money over the course of time, take the beginning of the year to invest in a new toilet with an EPA WaterSense label. These appliances take the old, wasteful toilets’ flush of six gallons each use and replace it with a bare (but still usable) 1.28 gallons per flush. This will save you almost five gallons every flush – adding up to a quick return on your investment.
And if your toilet is leaking, that can amount to a crazy 200 gallons of water wasted every day that it continues to leak. Don’t want to pay that plumbing bill? That’s fine – you’ll be paying at least four times the average repair bill in your water and energy bill over the year instead. If saving money is your resolution for this new year, you may want to consider this expense.
5. Love your shower? No problem – if you are using it smartly! There are people out there who love their shower so much they will actually fall asleep standing up in it. We’re not judging – really! There are others who will take two and three showers every day, and we’re happy they are so clean.
But there’s just one problem with that (we won’t use the word excessive) shower use – time in your shower, on the average, accounts for almost one-fifth of your home’s entire water use, and this number is increased dramatically for those shower lovers just mentioned.
So you’ve turned away from your beloved baths already because you know they are a big waste of water, and you don’t want to lose your showers, too! You don’t have to. But just cutting your shower time down from 15 minutes to 10 minutes can save more than ten gallons of water in a shower that has a head with a flow rate of 2.5 gallons each minute. This adds up to a lot of water saved over the course of a year!
And if you use that WaterSense label with your shower appliances, too, the water flow rate reduces down even more, saving you an average of almost 3,000 gallons of water every year and the corresponding savings on your electric bill since you didn’t have to heat that extra wasted water.
6. Everyone loves washing laundry, right? While we can’t get away with getting rid of this beloved chore completely, we can save money and energy while we wash our clothes by limiting the amount of times you use the hot or warm water settings and changing the size of the water level to fit the actual load of clothes you have in the washer.
If you have an old machine, chances are you are using too much water, anyway. Energy Star rated washing machines mean that those models use 25 percent less energy than standard models, and over 30 percent less water.
7. Leaky faucets cause more than just an annoying background sound. Waking up in the middle of the night to that drip, drip, drip sound can be a major drain on your peaceful slumber, but it’s also a drain on your electric bill and water bill. Faucets that drip each second waste an average of 192 gallons every month – adding up to major water bills if you don’t get them repaired.
Your faucet also can be used to save money in other ways. If you listen to the little songs that children are taught as toddlers and you, too, turn the water off when you brush your teeth, you can save 3,000 gallons of water every year just by doing this little fix alone!
Back to that WaterSense label – WaterSense approved faucets cut the flow of water by 30 percent without reducing the faucet’s performance, saving you an average of 700 gallons every year and quickly paying for itself.
8. Keep an eye on your water meter. If you’re like most people, you don’t even know where your home’s water meter is, and that’s perfectly normal. But if you’re looking for ways to save money and help the environment, don’t overlook the impact your water meter can have on your water usage.
If there are leaks between the main box and the meter that controls your water flow, you may be paying a lot for water you aren’t even using. An expert plumber, like those at GM Plumbing, can check this for you and figure out where the source of the leak is coming from if there is one.
So You Know How to Save Money Now, But What About the Environment?
Water conservation isn’t just about helping our wallets, but that’s an added benefit, of course. Most people see water as this limitless resource that recycles itself through the water cycle. However, if you think of a few key statistics, you’ll quickly see the importance of conserving this precious resource.
The truth is:
- 97% of all of the Earth’s water is salt water. Right now, salt water is not drinkable.
- Out of the remaining 3% of the Earth’s water, only .5% is even accessible. The rest is locked away frozen in the ice caps or glaciers, in the atmosphere, or under the surface of the Earth, or is too polluted to actually use.
When you do your part to conserve your water use, you are helping to minimize water shortages, preserve the environment, keep a supply of water available for recreational use like water parks, and even prevent future conflicts when the world does not have ready access to this life-sustaining resource.
Ready to Make Your Resolutions a Reality?
When you are ready to jump in and grab those resolutions by the horns, call us at GM Plumbing to help you handle all of your plumbing needs. Together, we can help you save money and make that big worldwide environmental impact you’ve been working so hard for!