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How to Make Your Home More Water-Efficient: 9 Tips

hand testing shower temperature

A 2016 study revealed that the average U.S. family uses more than 300 gallons of water per day. Now that more people are working from home than ever, that daily usage could be even higher.

Fortunately, there are several ways you can start reducing water waste and lowering your monthly bills. Check out the tips below to get ideas for a more water-efficient home!

1. Use your dishwasher, rather than hand washing.

A standard dishwasher requires 5 gallons of water or less to wash a full load of dishes, whereas the average person requires 9 to 27 gallons. An ENERGY STAR certified dishwasher only uses up to 3.5 gallons.

2. Only run full loads of laundry in the washing machine.

Unless your washing machine can adjust the amount of water per load size, only do the laundry when you have full loads to run. Don’t be afraid to mix light-colored clothes (like grays, olive, khaki, and light blues) with dark colors (like black and navy)—as long as the clothes have been washed before, the colors won’t run, especially if washed in cold water.

3. Install tankless water heaters close to the point of use.

You can reduce your “wait time” for hot water by installing one or more tankless water heaters close to where you use hot water. This will reduce the amount of cold water that goes to waste down the drain. Some tankless models are small enough to fit inside cabinets or underneath sinks.

4. Start using a shower bucket.

Aren’t ready to go “tankless?” While waiting for your shower to heat up, collect the cold water in a bucket. You can use that cold water around the house for cleaning or watering plants.

5. Upgrade to water-efficient faucets, showerheads, and toilets.

Water-efficient plumbing fixtures reduce your water consumption, benefitting both the environment and your budget. The most reliable “water-smart” fixtures have the WaterSense label which means:

  • They’re 20% more water efficient than average products in their same category, with measurable water-saving results
  • They perform as well or better than their less-efficient counterparts

6. Water your lawn early in the morning or around sunset.

If you program your sprinklers to run close to noon or during the afternoon, you’ll lose a lot of water to evaporation. It’s better to water your lawn thoroughly in the morning or evening. Watering at night can increase risks of a fungus problem.

7. Install a drip irrigation system for your garden beds.

Rather than relying on sprinklers that can overshoot your vegetables, trees, and flower beds, consider installing a drip irrigation system. This type of watering system keeps your landscaping’s soil moist by dripping, streaming, or spraying water with very low pressure close to the ground. The moisture can then deeply penetrate the soil, allowing the roots to become fully hydrated without getting soggy.

8. Harvest rainwater.

Tennessee is the sixth rainiest state in the nation. If you’re not harvesting rainwater, you’re missing out on a lot of free water. Rainwater collected directly from the sky is clean, so you can safely use it for house cleaning and watering livestock and plants. To set up a larger, more elaborate system, you’ll need the help of a professional, but you can also start with your own rain barrel.

9. Fix small leaks right away.

Don’t let a few small leaks get away from you. After all, even one faucet dripping once every two seconds will waste more than 1,000 gallons of water in just one year. (This drip calculator can do the math for you.)

Call The Plumbing Authority at (865) 238-2280 to schedule a plumbing service in Knoxville. We look forward to serving you!

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