Are utility costs getting out of hand because your kids are home for the summer? Does hosting family and out-of-town guests cause you to pay more money for water bills? Washing dishes, running your washing machine, brushing your teeth, watering garden plants – it all adds up on your water bill!
Too much water goes to waste right under your nose, driving up the price you pay for monthly utility bills. If you want to save money on water bills this summer, you’ve come to the right place! Jarboe’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing has tips to help you reduce the amount of water usage in your Louisville area home so you save money on your water costs.
Average Water Bills in Louisville
In the Louisville area, an average household of 2 to 3 people pays about $24 per month for a water bill. Annually, a household’s water costs are around $280. Water utility customers pay standard fees for service on their water bills as well as costs related to the household’s actual water usage for the billing period.
Factors that impact water bills include how many people are in the home using water and how water is used in the home. Homes with more bathrooms tend to have higher water use, and homes with more people will use more water than smaller households. No matter how big your house or family, the best ways to save money when it comes to water expenses is to cut back on water usage and use less water.
Best Ways to Save Money and Lower Your Water Bill
If you want to save money and reduce the number of gallons of water charged on your water bill, there are a few ways to go about doing so. Altering your habits and how you use water will help you use less, fixing leaks will control waste, and taking out old fixtures to install new low-flow models limits the amount of water needed to perform daily tasks.
Water Saving Habits
- If brushing your teeth or shaving at your sink, make sure to shut off the faucet for water saving while you complete these activities. While brushing your teeth, keeping the water off can conserve around 8 gallons of water per time!
- Toilet tanks require a lot of water to fill. Keep toilet tanks full with less water when you reduce the interior size of the tank. Use a bottle and fill it with sand or water, placing it inside the toilet tank away from the flapper, fill valve, and other tank parts. With the bottle in place, the space within the toilet tank is reduced so the toilet will not use as much water to fill the tank.
- Saving water is easily achieved when you take shorter showers. You’ll also save hot water so your water heater won’t need as much energy to run, which helps you save money on electric or gas utility bills, too! With enough water pressure, you’ll feel comfortable and have enough water to take shorter showers.
- Help your water heater stay energy efficient by turning down its thermostat. Set the water heater temperature to 120 degrees. By doing so, your water heater won’t consume as much energy to heat and store hot water.
- Choose an ENERGY STAR dishwasher machine instead of hand washing dishes and you could save around $1,300 each year!
- Before loading your dishwasher, scrape plates clean rather than spraying them with water from your kitchen faucet sprayer.
- Wait until you have full loads to run your dishwasher. Use the ECO setting for washing dishes quickly without unnecessary rinse cycles.
- Reduce the amount of waste you send down the garbage disposal. Garbage disposals should still be operated on a regular basis for upkeep, but less waste means less water and energy consumption by these appliances. Instead, try starting a compost pile with organic waste instead of washing it through the disposal.
- When washing clothing, make sure to run full loads in your washing machine instead of washing only a few items at a time.
- Use cold water instead of hot water when washing laundry, when appropriate. Do not use the 2nd rinse cycle.
- Check your garden hoses, sprinklers, and hose bibbs for wear and damage that could cause the fixture to leak. Replace damaged items now and install new ones so leaks don’t lead to soggy spots and water waste outdoors.
- Keep your pool covered when no one is using it. If left uncovered, water will evaporate and you will have to fill the pool to top it off. If you have ever needed to fill your pool from your home’s water supply, you know it can make your water bills skyrocket!
- Conserve water while washing your car. First fill a bucket with water and turn off the hose while scrubbing your vehicle. Spray the car to remove soap suds and shut off the hose once finished. Leaving the hose running can waste up to 10 gallons of water per minute!
- When mulching flowerbeds, cover the soil with a layer of mulch that is 3 inches thick. The thick mulch layer will retain moisture and help keep the roots of your plants watered.
- Early in the morning is the best time to water garden plants. You want to do so before the heat sets in, causing evaporation, or the Sun comes up which can scorch wet foliage.
- Keep your lawn mowed at 3 to 4 inches. This length allows for ideal root growth so grass plants can access water within the soil.
- Use the rain for outdoor watering as much as possible. Summer heat waves can bring periods without rain, so install a rain barrel to collect water runoff when it does rain and you’ll have a reserve for watering plants – and you won’t have to pay for your watering!
- When watering lawns, only do so in the early morning when conditions are not windy. Heat and wind causes water to evaporate quickly, leading to waste.
- Reposition a sprinkler head that is overshooting your lawn. You don’t want to waste water spraying the sidewalk!
- Use a broom to sweep sidewalks and other surfaces of grass clippings and debris instead of spraying water from your hose.
Leaks Increase Water Bills
Leaks, hidden or known, cost the average household a lot of money each year. On average, a home loses 10,000 gallons per year through leaks! No matter how minor a leak may seem, don’t be fooled – even the smallest leaks result in a great volume of water loss.
One of the most valuable ways to save money when it comes to water bills is fixing leaks. Check faucets, your shower head, toilets, and plumbing appliances to see if any leak and fix any leaks you find right away. Leak repair could save you thousands of gallons of water per year and protect your plumbing fixtures so they last longer, which also helps you save money.
Inefficient Fixtures Waste Water
In older homes throughout Louisville, it’s not unusual to find older plumbing appliances and fixtures still installed. These older models use much more water to perform than newer fixtures which must limit their water flow. Replace these wasteful fixtures today and install new low-flow models throughout your home.
- If your toilet is more than 25 years old, it may use anywhere from 3.5 to 7 gallons of water per flush! New low-flow toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush or less. Even better, WaterSense labeled toilets use 1.28 gallons to flush.
- A standard shower head today has a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute. Older shower heads may use even more water. WaterSense showerheads are low flow, using 2.0 gallons per minute or less.
- Bathroom faucets may use as much as 5 gallons per minute. Today’s standard faucets have a flow rate of 2.2 gallons per minute or less. Low-flow WaterSense faucets use 1.5 gallons or less per minute.
- A standard washing machine requires 20 gallons per load of laundry. An ENERGY STAR washing machine only needs 14 gallons per load!
Jarboe’s Knows the Ways to Save Money on Your Water Bills!
We hope the tips above will be useful as you make efforts to lower your water bill for the summer months. While there are many steps you can take on your own, the help of a knowledgeable plumber can be priceless when you want to save money on water prices.
The licensed Kentucky plumbers of Jarboe’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing provide reliable leak repair and plumbing installation services to make your home more water and energy efficient. We identify and correct leaks to prevent water waste and damage throughout your home. Our plumbers install new low-flow fixtures including faucets, toilets, showers, and more to reduce water usage throughout your residence. Whether you need plumbing repairs or someone to install a new plumbing appliance or fixture, please give us a call!