SAVE MONEY, INCREASE SUSTAINABILITY. In these times of increased environmental awareness, many homeowners are incorporating “Going Green” when planning a renovation or just making a few simple changes for the sake of the environment. There is a false belief that “Going Green” will dig deep into a homeowner’s wallet. Actually, “Going Green” can save money and the environment all at once.
BEGIN BY FOCUSING ON WATER. For instance, be aware of outdated appliances and leaking pipes. These two factors could be responsible for not only wasting water, but also causing water bills that are larger than necessary.
REPLACING OUTDATED APPLIANCES with new appliances can be costly. However, this investment can give a homeowner long term benefits by saving thousands of gallons of water a year. For instance, a front-loading washer uses almost half the water of a top loader. Also, don’t forget to look for the Energy Star qualified appliances.
HIDDEN LEAKS can not only ruin floors, carpeting, ceilings and walls, but also cause you one huge headache of an insurance claim. Imagine ending up with an inconvenient hotel stay while one contractor is tasked with drying out the damaged areas and another contractor is needed to come in after everything is dry and repair the damage caused by the leak.
Be on the lookout for an inconsistent water meter reading. Compare your water meter reading before and then after a two-hour period when water isn’t being used. If the meter reading changes between readings, you could have a leak. Look for other indicators—if you see any of the items listed below, call a professional.
- Noticeable drops in your water pressure
- Damp walls
- Higher than usual water bills
- Cracked pavement
YOUR KITCHEN FAUCET CAN “GO GREEN” All it takes is one simple addition that most homeowners can do themselves–install an aerator. These small mesh screens dilute the water stream with air and reduce the volume of water flowing from your faucet while still maintaining the feel of a high-pressure flow. Installing a faucet aerator is easy to do and a very effective water-saving change.
CONSIDER A LOW FLOW OR DUAL FLUSH TOILET. A low-flow or dual flush toilet can save thousands of gallons of water a year! With a dual flush system, you can even buy a model with different buttons for solid and liquid waste—by customizing how much water you use at any given time you could reduce your water usage by more than 60%. There is also the option to repair your current toilet since parts such as the flapper valve corrode over time and become less efficient. These parts are of low cost and easy to install.
UPDATE THAT OLD SHOWER HEAD. There are many attractive new shower heads on the market, and this is an easy change you can do yourself to save water. Don’t imagine bathing under a trickle of water! You can still enjoy a satisfying shower with a low-flow showerhead. Look for one that delivers 2.5 gallons of water (or less) per minute. Did you know that those older shower heads deliver as much as EIGHT GALLONS per minute? Think how much THAT will save you on your water bill!
Saving water doesn’t have to make you groan, sigh and pout. Not only can a few changes save you some hard-earned cash, but you will also be helping the environment. How great is that!?