February 5th marks the Chinese New Year, this year celebrating the Year of the Pig and saying goodbye to the Year of the Dog. While Chinese tradition describes this zodiac animal as blessed with good fortune, they are also known for not being wasteful spenders.
Here are five ways you can honor the Year of the Pig and not be a water hog this year!
1. Take your car to a car wash.
Sounds counter-intuitive right? A standard garden hose uses about 10 gallons of water per minute. That means you could be using 100 gallons of water washing your car for ten minutes. A power washer uses half the amount of water per minutes as a standard hose, a better option as long as you are careful of the amount of pressure used on your vehicle. Professional car washes are regulated, requiring them to recirculate water usage and adhere strict water conservation regulations. Click here for some specifics from the Maryland Department of the Environment.
2. Use your dishwasher.
The average U.S. household has about 215 dishwasher loads of plates, cups, silverware, etc. each year! Don’t let all of those dishes pile up in the sink. The best way to get them clean while also saving water is to load up your Energy Star rated dishwasher. Energy Star rated dishwashers use just 5 gallons of water per load. Hand-washing can use up to 27 gallons of water cleaning a dishwasher load of dishes. Here is a list of Energy Star rated dishwashers on the market.
3. Search for leaks.
The biggest water waster is the one you can’t see! Household leaks waste nearly 1 trillion gallons of water a year nationwide. Correcting water leaks from a worn toilet, dripping faucet or other leaky valves can save about 10 percent on your water bill, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Knowing you have a leak is as easy as using your water meter. Here’s a six step process to see if you have a leak in your home. If you discover a leak, Len The Plumber can conduct a thorough inspection to find the cause of the leak and fix it.
4. Switch to water-saving shower heads.
If you can get to the second verse in your shower song, you are using gallons upon gallons of water with a traditional shower head. In fact, the EPA estimates standard shower heads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Look for a WaterSense label to help identify models that save water but still perform well.
5. Service your hot water heater.
We all love a steamy hot shower, but we waste gallons of water each time we wait for the water to heat up to our desired temperature. If you find yourself waiting for hot water, it may be time to call a professional to have your water heater serviced. Regular maintenance can help cut that wait time down. And if that doesn’t help, you might want to consider a hot water recirculation system or tankless water heater. Our Len The Plumber experts can help determine how you can have a hotter, more efficient shower experience.
So this year, as we usher out the Year of the Dog and welcome the Year of the Pig, find easy ways to do your part and not be a water hog. Our Len The Plumber experts are here to help assess your home on ways you could start saving money on your water bill today.