When you wash your hands, flush the toilet, or take a shower, you may not realize how much water you actually use. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the average four-person American family uses as much as 400 gallons of water a day, just completing necessary daily activities.
Luckily for the environment and your wallet, modern manufacturers have developed new appliance models that drastically reduce water usage and offer other benefits as well. If you’re ready to lower your water bills and create a more eco-friendly home, replace your older appliances with a modern alternative.
If your home is several decades old and the bathrooms never got updated, your toilets may use anywhere between three and seven gallons of water each flush. Standard modern toilets offer a significant improvement with a typical flush rate of 1.6 gallons, but this lower flush rate can add up when you think of how many times you and your family use the bathroom each day.
To save as much water as possible, upgrade to a toilet that meets the EPA’s standards for their WaterSense program. Toilets that meet this standard use less than 1.28 gallons of water per flush. For a bigger benefit, look into toilets that offer a dual flush system: one flush rate for solid waste, another for liquid waste. This option gives you more control over your water usage and ensures maximum efficiency.
Toilets that leak or constantly run waste even more water, sometimes as much as 200 gallons per day. To combat this problem, you can purchase a toilet with a built-in leak detector. These toilets contain a sensor that monitors the water levels in the tank, preventing the tank from constantly refilling if it detects a leak and alerting you to the existence of a problem.
If you’re a naturally water-conscious person, you probably already shut the faucet off while brushing your teeth or soaping up your hands. However, standard faucets aren’t usually designed to save water, so even the most conservative person often wastes water without realizing it. And if you have small children, they may forget to turn off the water, leaving it running until someone goes into the bathroom.
Digital faucets are designed to prevent these problems. There are many different options available, so you can find the perfect faucet to fit your needs. If your water takes a while to heat up or cool down, look into temperature-control faucets. They allow you to choose the temperature of the water before turning the faucet on, so you don’t need to let the water run for several minutes to heat up.
Some digital faucets allow you to manually adjust the flow rate, letting you choose a low flow rate for tasks like brushing your teeth and a high flow rate if you need to fill a cooking pot. Even if you don’t want to pay for full flow rate control, look into WaterSense-approved models that lower the flow rate from the standard 2.2 gallons a minute to under 1.5 gallons a minute.
For those with children-or even pets-who turn the faucet on but don’t turn it off, upgrade to a faucet with motion-sense technology. Not only will the faucet shut off automatically if it no longer detects a person but it will also stay clean longer since no one will touch it.
While indoor appliances are responsible for most of a family’s water usage, you can’t overlook the effects your outdoor systems have on your water bills. If you don’t have an efficient sprinkler system, you could waste thousands of gallons of water each month without realizing it.
You can improve your water usage through proper landscaping and figuring out exactly when to and how much water your lawn needs. But upgrading your current system to smart sprinklers will give you maximum control over your watering habits and severely limit wasted water.
Several smart sprinkler options can monitor weather conditions and adjust the water accordingly. This feature prevents you from having to constantly set the sprinklers manually and stops the sprinklers from turning on during a rainstorm.
More advanced sprinkler systems, meant for the most dedicated eco-advocate and landscaping enthusiast, can calculate the size and shape of the yard. Each sprinkler head has a dedicated patch of land, preventing watering overlap and sidewalk watering. Because the system can calculate the terrain, it can also prevent water from gathering and creating a swampy area at lower elevations.
Modern technology provides many options for homeowners to reduce their water usage and prevent problems common to standard plumbing appliances. Whether you want to invest in smart technology or simply install more efficient, EPA-approved appliances, don’t wait to improve your home. Contact Jim Dhamer Plumbing & Sewer, Inc. to see our selection of products and for help with remodeling.