When looking at ways to save money, it only makes sense to look at those things on which we spend the most money and start cutting those costs. In your home, one of the largest expenses incurred is the dreaded utility bill that arrives every month without fail. We tend to just accept it and pay it but there are some practical things we can do to lower our energy consumption and, thereby, lower our monthly bill. Heating the hot water that is used in your household is one of the largest components of this bill. By lowering the amount of hot water used every month, you will lower your bill. For those who would like to lower hot water usage, make sure your home has no leaks and make use of low-flow fixtures whenever possible.
Leaks are often ignored, after all how much waste can one little drip cause? Well, the answer is about one dollar a month for a moderate leak. When you have a faucet that drips or a shower head that leaks just one drop a second, the waste can add up to about a dollar every month in energy waste. Plus there is the waste of water. It only makes sense to have these problems taken care of right away.
Another great way to save is by making use of low-flow plumbing fixtures in your home. The US government requires that shower heads and faucets cannot dispense more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute (gpm) at a water pressure of 80 psi (pounds per square inch). Since the early 1990’s this has been the law but prior to that, shower heads that delivered 5.5 gallons per minute were pretty common. If you have one of these, you should replace it as soon as possible. There are many good replacement shower heads that can be purchased for about $20 or less.
For your faucets, the important item is the aerator. The aerator is that small component that attaches to the end of the faucet, usually it is screwed on. The aerator controls the amount of water that that comes out of the faucet. There are basically two different standards that are in use today. For your kitchen faucet, you will likely be using an aerator that will allow 2.2 gallons of water per minute. Not sure how much water your aerator is allowing, fill up a gallon pitcher and see how long it takes. if it is about 30 seconds, you are ok. If not, consider changing your aerator. The standard for your bathroom faucet is somewhere between a half a gallon to one and a half per minute. Aerators are very easy to replace and do not cost very much at all. This is surely a DIY project that can save a lot of energy and water. When replacing it, be sure that you take your current one with you when you go to the hardware store so you can make sure you are getting one that will fit correctly.
These simple changes can have a big impact on the amount of hot water you use and by lowering the amount used, you lower the amount heated, which means you will be spending less money every month on your utility bill.