In the Bathroom
Check your faucets, and fix any leak you find. A faucet leaking at a rate of one drop per second can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water per year. Fixing hot-water leaks can save up to $35 per year in utility bills. If every household fixed just one leaky faucet, we could reduce water use in Texas by over 24 billion gallons a year.
Annual Savings: $35
Wash Full Loads and Use Cold Water
Washing full loads as opposed to partial loads of laundry can save an average household more than 3,400 gallons of water each year. If all Texas households washed only full loads of laundry, it would reduce water consumption throughout Texas by more than 27 billion gallons each year. Using cold water for laundry instead of hot or warm water can save the average household more than $30 annually.
Annual Savings: $30
Install Water-Efficient Showerheads and Faucet Aerators
The shower is the largest single user of hot water in the home, accounting for 17% of total indoor water use. By installing a water efficient showerhead, you can reduce water consumption by 25% to 60% and save energy, too. In addition, bathroom sink faucets account for more than 15% of indoor household water use. Installing aerators on your water faucets will cut the amount of water used by each faucet in half. Installing water efficient showerheads can save you $145 on your utility bill.
Annual Savings: $145
Invest in a New Water-Efficient Toilet
Toilets are by far the main source of water use in the home, accounting for approximately 30% of residential indoor water consumption. Replacing older toilets with water efficient toilets can save 4,000 gallons of water a year. If 25% of all Texas households reduced their water consumption by replacing one older toilet with a 1.6-gallon-per-flush toilet, it would reduce water consumption throughout Texas by 19 billion gallons annually.
Annual Savings: $90
Lower the Thermostat on Your Water Heater
Water heating is the third-largest energy expense in your home. For maximum efficiency, use an ENERGY STAR water heater, set your water heater's thermostat to 120 degrees, and wrap it with an insulating jacket to reduce heat loss. For each 10-degree reduction in water temperature, you can save between 3% to 5% in energy costs.
Annual Savings: $475
Use Less Water
One easy step is to take shorter showers. Also, instead of letting the water run while brushing your teeth, run it just to wet and rinse your toothbrush. Turning off the water can save up to 3,000 gallons of water a year for a family of four.
Check Toilets for Leaks
Did you know 25% of all toilets leak? Check your toilet by using a leak-detection dye tablet; otherwise you could be wasting about 200 gallons of water a day—that’s 73,000 gallons a year.
Use Less Toxic Cleaning Products
Using fewer toxic cleaning products can reduce pollutants in both the air and water, and help improve the air quality in your house. Use baking soda as a deodorizer and prevent the use of aerosols. Dissolve 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 quart of water for an all-purpose cleaner, and use vinegar to dissolve mineral deposits and remove soap scum and mildew. To open clogs, try a plunger first. If that doesn’t work, pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain, add ½ cup of white vinegar, and cover the drain.
Dry Your Clothes Efficiently
If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it to avoid over-drying your clothes. Dryers that operate an extra 15 minutes per load can cost you up to $34 each year. Cleaning the lint filter after each cycle improves air circulation and can save you $34 each year. Also consider air-drying clothes on clotheslines or drying racks.
Turn On Exhaust Fans
If you use a bathroom exhaust fan, run it for up to 15 minutes after showering to control moisture, reducing your use of heating and cooling energy. When replacing exhaust fans, install a properly sized ENERGY STAR-rated fan; these are much quieter than standard models and use less energy.