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Trying to trim your monthly bills and free up a little cash? Look at your water use.
Although your water bill probably isn’t your most expensive utility, it is an easy one to cut back. Small changes can add up to significant savings each year.
Here are a number of ways to lower your water bill:
1. Inspect your appliances. Keep an eye out for leaks and drips, as these pile up quickly over time. Toilets, faucets and dishwashers are most likely to spring leaks.
2. Install low-flow toilets, or convert your current ones. This will significantly reduce the amount of water these household items use. If purchasing a new toilet is more than you can afford, you can achieve the same effect by adding weights to the toilet tank. If you’re unfamiliar with this technique, look at the guide available here.
3. Add aerators to your faucets. An aerator both reduces the amount of water your faucet uses and makes the flow more forceful. It attaches to the faucet head and adds air into the water stream, acting like a sieve to reduce the amount of water coming through the faucet head. Because the aerator compacts the water flowing through, it also increases water pressure. It’s a win-win: increase performance and save money.
4. Upgrade to Energy Star appliances. Replacing your dishwasher and washing machine with their Energy Star counterparts will allow you to cut back on both your water and energy usage. To locate savings, tax credits and discounts in your area, use the Energy Star rebate finder.
5. Take shorter showers. Shaving off even one or two minutes can lead to impressive savings. If you’re feeling particularly eco- or budget-friendly, you can try the “Navy shower,” in which you shut off the water while soaping up and turning it back on to rinse off.
6. Use your dishwasher. Hand-washing dishes can use more water than a dishwasher; the average dishwasher uses 6 gallons per cycle, while water usually flows from your faucet at a rate of 2 gallons per minute. If it takes you more than 3 minutes to wash your dishes, you’re better off using a dishwasher.