Life in a new house or condo is exciting but can also be fiscally challenging. Fixed costs like utilities can vary month to month but the good news is that you can impact the size of your bill based on your consumption. If you’re living in a condo, your water bill is likely blended into your monthly utility fees but if you’re in a house, you can reduce your water consumption and save on your hot water bill. Luckily for house owners, there exist several ways you can reduce your reliance on hot and cold water without resorting to installing a costly solar hot water system. If you plan to stay in your house for a long time, opting for a solar system will result in significant savings in the long run so if budget permits, it can be a viable option. For the rest of us, here are some easy solutions to help you reduce your water usage and water bills:
Change to Cold Water Washing – in many houses, laundry baskets fill up quickly with dirty clothes, towels, sheets, bibs, etc. You probably feel like you are spending a lot of time doing the laundry and you may have the machine on every day. This can add up, especially if you are still using a hot water cycle. Your hot water system will need to work extra hard to warm the water up when, in reality, it doesn’t need to. Using a cold water wash is just as effective with the right detergent. So make the switch to cold water when doing your washing and see the difference in your hot water bill each quarter.
Consider Energy Star Rated Appliances – If you are in the market for a new washing machine or a new dishwasher, then pay attention to the number of energy efficient stars it has received. A front loader tends to be much more water conscious than top loaders and although they also tend to take a little longer to finish a cycle, they are usually cheaper as well. Dishwashers also come with the energy efficient label. Buying a four star system may cost you $100 more than a 3 star system but you will save in the long run.
Reuse Bath Water – for those with little kids in their house, consider bathing them together. If they’re a bit older and they enjoy their alone time, simply transition sessions by adding a bit of fresh hot water to keep the bath nice and warm. Finally when it’s time to drain the tub, reserve some of that water for household washing like mopping floors, washing windows, or for soaking things like dirty window screens, greasy pots and pans, stained clothes…etc. Reducing the urge to constantly turn on the tap for things like that will help you come up with even more uses for reserved bath water.