Everyone knows that water usage tends to rise during the summer months. But there are a few simple ways to keep those expenses from climbing out of control. And when done right, these water conservation tips can help reduce your water bill year-round too!
How to Read Your Water Bill
The first step in curbing your family’s water usage is to understand what your water bill is actually reporting. Different utility companies will measure this in different formats, but the most common unit is in centum cubic feet (CCF). This is calculated by measuring how many gallons you’re using, and 748 gallons equal one CCF.
From there, it’s helpful to know that the average American will use around 88 gallons of water per day in their household. Extrapolate from there, and we’re looking at approximately 10,500 gallons for a 4-person family per month. Of course, these numbers will vary a lot across the regions in the country, and even just between neighbors.
Most utilities will start with a flat rate to help cover the costs of the logistics to clean, transport, and maintain your municipality’s water supply. Then they’ll add on a usage rate per gallon. For example, this might be 3 cents for every gallon. That’s why reducing your household gallon usage is so important. Every penny adds up, and with our water bills usually so much higher in the summertime, reasonably curbing that water usage both outside and inside can give you more money to apply to other areas of your budget instead.
5 Ways to Reduce Your Home’s Water Bill
Even reducing your water usage by 75% could allow you to keep $25 per month for groceries, gas, or other day-to-day expenses. Plus, limiting water usage doesn’t have to make you feel constrained. These best practices are super-easy to implement.
1. Play with Native Landscaping
There’s nothing wrong with allowing nature to run its course. Let your lawn and flowers live by the fate of the weather. Dryer grass and a little wilting isn’t the end of the world! In the Midwest, they’ll likely bounce back soon enough with a quick rainstorm.
Better yet—stick to drought-resistant plants. There are plenty of online resources to help you choose the right type of landscaping for your climate.
2. Get a Rain Barrel
Of course, if you’ve got a garden to care for then you probably don’t want to leave things to chance. So just set up a rain barrel instead of turning on the outdoor spigot. Then you’ll have a stash of water ready-to-go in between the summer showers.
3. Check the Sprinkler System
Next, check your sprinklers! If the system is set up on a repeating schedule, make sure you’re still keeping an eye on things and adjusting, as needed. Don’t let it water your lawn on windy days, and don’t let it keep running when it’s just watering the driveway or sidewalks. A quick adjustment can help make sure your outdoor water usage isn’t going to waste.
4. Stick with ENERGY STAR Labels
Efficiency is key when you’re getting ready for an appliance upgrade. Modern laundry machines, dishwashers, and water softeners should automatically be using less water, but not all systems are created equal.
What’s more, consider the savings that you get just by using soft water! You’ll be able to save money on soap and detergent because soft water cleans better than hard water. Using less means you won’t be buying as much. This is one of the perks of soft water that some people will tend to overlook. If you’ve had a new system installed, you should be using less detergent and soap right away. Your water-using appliance simply won’t need as much water to get the job done.
5. Finally Those Leaks
Last but not least, take the time for a quick home improvement project and address any leaky faucets or showerheads throughout the house. You’ll be getting rid of a nuisance and saving money along the way. The same goes for any toilets that are constantly running.
Making any of these adjustments around your home will be inexpensive and lead to long-term savings. It’s always a good feeling to see your water bill dropping every month! We hope these tips can help!