Water bills often peak during the summer months for Calgary homeowners. This can create unnecessary expenses, not to mention increasing the pressure on our precious natural resources.
A few simple moves can save water and reduce your bills in the summer. Some of the below tips will require a plumber but most are just simple, common-sense actions that benefit homeowners and the planet.
Follow these eight tips to save water in your hom
Fix plumbing leaks and other issues
Okay, let’s start with the plumbing. A plumbing issue doesn’t need to be a major one to be costing you money.
Leaks are costly whether they’re an obvious one inside your home (drip, drip, drip) or a less obvious leak from outside pipes or faucets. They constantly waste water and should be fixed as a priority not only to lower your water bill but also to prevent potential water damage to your home.
Here’s where to focus your attention with plumbing fixes:
It’s always a good idea to check your water meter as this could help you identify any hidden leaks that may require further investigation by a plumber.
Water meters have leak indicators that are normally a triangular-shaped dial or a small silver wheel. If it is moving when no water is running in the house, you should call a professional plumber to check your system.
Old, worn-out bathroom and kitchen faucets can use too much water. Either repair them or invest in new, more efficient, low-flow faucets. Eco-friendly models can save up to 30 percent of your home’s water usage.
Old, inefficient water heaters (generally over 12 years or so) are other prime candidates for excessive water usage. If there are odd smells, sounds, discolored water, leaks or problems with heating water, it’s time for a check-up from a professional plumber.
Invest in low-flow appliances
A low-flow showerhead can save you water every day. Most homeowners won’t sacrifice anything by making the switch — low-flow showerheads perform very well — so there really is no downside.
As well as a low-flow showerhead, consider a low-flow toilet, which will reduce the amount of water used with each toilet flush. Also, consider investing in more energy-efficient dishwashers and laundry machines.
Many homeowners in Calgary prize their lawns and spend many hours tending to them. In summer, they need a lot of watering to keep looking healthy and manicured, which entails a major use of water.
You can optimize the use of water by sticking to a strict schedule, watering when the temperatures are coolest (night-time or early morning), using a drip irrigation system rather than sprinklers and allowing your grass to grow a little longer than usual (which reduces evaporation).
Remember to observe the Calgary bylaws when it comes to water restrictions.
Replace grass & flower beds with rock gardens
A few smart landscaping choices can also help conserve water. Unless you are “chained” to the idea of a natural grass lawn, consider replacing it with artificial grass or wood decking.
A landscaped rock garden is another good idea and consider native plant species or species that don’t require as much water.
Educate your kids to be water conscious
Some people in your household may not even be aware of how much water they use. Often, it’s taken for granted.
During the summer, kids may be off school and at home more. This usually means more toilet flushes, handwashing, showers, dishwashing and, perhaps, dips in the backyard pool. It’s a good time to start educating them about the benefits of conserving water and using our precious resources responsibly.
Take shorter showers
It’s not just the kids using the water. Everyone in the household can be educated and encouraged to take shorter showers, especially in the summertime when people shower more frequently.
For instance, put your hair in a shower cap and settle for a quick body rinse-off rather than the full shower experience each time.
Take your car to the car wash
Unless washing your car is an irreplaceable task that you love doing, it may be a better idea to take your car to the local car wash.
On average, it takes 150 gallons of water to wash a vehicle at home. Commercial car washes are built with an eye on water efficiency, so they generally use just one-third of what we use at home to wash a car. In pure water usage terms, you’ll save by paying a car wash business to do it.
Cover your pool
When not using your outdoor swimming pool (if you’re lucky enough to have one), keep it covered during the summertime, when evaporation rates are at their peak. This will save you from having to top up the pool so frequently.
A covered pool is also easier to keep clean, reducing the need to drain and refill it as often.
If you’re based in Calgary and looking at ways to save water, our licensed professional plumbers can provide a thorough check of your home’s plumbing system. Call Pete the Plumber at (403) 257-1766 to arrange a visit (no dispatch fee is charged).