In most homes, water has four major uses: baths, faucets, washing machines and dishwashers. For each of these uses, water heating may be required, which consumes around 20% of a home’s energy costs. Other uses of water include irrigation, pools, fountains and spas.
Even when you try to use water wisely, you my be wasting a good deal of this precious resource. Here are ideas and tips on how to wisely save water in your home.
Ways to Conserve Water for Consumption
The minimum individual requirement for water needed for consumption and cleaning is 4 gallons per day. Thus, you may be surprised to learn that an average family (2 adults and 2 children) uses somewhere between 250 & 400 gallons of water per day. Homes with outdoor irrigation, pools and spas use significantly more water.
Most of the water used in a home isn’t used for individual consumption (such as drinking and eating). Instead, it’s used for cleaning and watering. However, the biggest cost we make is for water we drink, rather than on water we use for cleaning and watering. This is due to our addiction to bottled and purified water. For the uninformed few, bottled water is always a waste of money and resources. Did you know that bottled water costs up to 10,000 times more than tap water? But what exactly goes into the cost? It’s mostly bottling, transporting, packaging and sales.
One of the greatest environmental problems with bottled water is that it requires a great amount of energy to transport to the end consumer. While you might believe that the pristine water from a secluded spring is the best for you and your dear ones, think for a moment, of all the pollution and the waste of energy generated in the process.
A frugal and environmentally sustainable alternative (if you worry about the quality of water) is to install a purifying system. When you consider such system, look for one that only treats the water you plan to consume. After all, it makes no sense to filter water that goes to your dishwasher.
There are many other great ways to save water for consumption and many of them are relatively easy and inexpensive.
One change you can make is to use a two-valve faucet. Such faucet is more efficient than a single-valve style that unavoidably wastes hot water.
Using aerator filters in the faucets is yet another wonderful way to save water. These filters add air and keep up the pressure. Meanwhile they reduce flow volume. Most of the times, we need greater pressure and not greater flow volume. Many new building codes require low-flow faucets as they are a more intelligent solution.
Leaky faucets are incredibly wasteful. A faucet dripping once per second wastes up to 2,000 gallons of water annually. Leaking faucets can also cause aggravate or cause health problems due to mold and mildew that flourish in damp environments.
The largest cost is the wasted heat when hot water is drawn from the water heater. If your faucet is dripping, it may be drawing and wasting hot water.
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