Amid a global recession, it can be challenging to pay off the bills. Millions have lost their jobs and thousands of businesses have closed in the US alone. On top of that, bills have been rising. According to a report by The Guardian, millions of Americans are at risk of being disconnected from their water supply. It found that there’s been an 80% increase in water bills since 2010.
On the bright side, there are different ways to reduce lower your bills. Here are four different home upgrades you can try:
1. Smarten up Your Pipes
You may not know it but you may have a leaky pipe somewhere in your home and it’s running up your bill. According to figures from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one out of 10 homes have leaks. This amounts to over 10,000 gallons of water every year. The great news is that you can use an injection molding product to replace virtually any part of the pipes.
Because leaks are typically caused by wear and tear, there aren’t much you can do to prevent it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do something to track it. You can do that by installing a smart water sensor. Before you buy one, remember that not all smart devices are created equal. First, consider its compatibility with your other gadgets. For example, if you already have a smart home hub, make sure the water detector can sync up with it. Some sensors even need a hub to run. If you don’t have a hub, choose a detector that can be controlled with your phone. Another important factor to consider is the inclusions. Some devices come with different sensors which you can put in different places. This is especially useful since can get a leak anywhere — under the kitchen sink, at the basement, or by the toilet. If you’re willing to splurge a bit, get a model that includes an automatic shut-off function. Even if you’re away from home, there won’t be any water waste.
2. Replace Your Washing Machine
Why buy a new washing machine if you have one that still works? But if you had your clothes washer for too long, you may actually save more money in the long run by getting a new one. Washing machines are among the biggest consumers of water and energy in a household. If you buy one that’s been certified by Energy Star, you can instantly lower the energy use by 25% and water use by 33%. The EPA estimates that an old washing machine is adding $185 to your bills every year. So even if a new clothes washer may cost you a lot of money in the beginning, you’ll get a return on your investment in no time.
To maximize your savings, you must also be using your machines the right way. Follow the manual’s instructions on the proper usage. Use a high-efficient laundry detergent because it doesn’t need as much water compared to other types. You should also avoid running half-loads. It’s more water and energy-efficient to choose full-loads every time you do laundry.
3. Switch to a New Shower Head
According to the EPA, showers are the second biggest water consumers in a household. If you want to reduce your use, it’s a good place to start.
To get an efficient shower head, consider a few factors. First, they must have the WaterSense label. Like the Energy Star certification, this label means that it has passed the EPA’s standards and have been proven to perform well. Shower heads that are WaterSense-certified use 2 gallons per minute at the most. In comparison, the typical shower head uses up an average of 2.5 gallons per minute. Another important factor is its installation. There are shower heads that only plumbers can install so it’s best to avoid unless you’re willing to spend more.
4. Get a Rainwater Collection System
If you happen to live in a rainy city, why not collect rainwater? You can use it to water your plants. Rainwater is even better for your herbs and flowers than tap water because it doesn’t contain any chlorine. If you don’t have plants, you can use rainwater to wash your car or your pet. You can even use it to flush your toilet, the biggest consumer of water in a household.
To prepare for the next time it rains, you can use a rainwater collection system. You can use it by connecting it from a downspout straight to your container. Plus, it also diverts water away from the gutter.
It might seem counterproductive to buy something to lower your expenses. But the right investment can save you time, money, and effort in the long run.