Check faucets and pipes for leaks: Even the smallest leak/drip can waste up to 20 gallons of water per day, while larger leaks may waste hundreds of gallons per day. Check your sinks for worn washers and moisture and call us if there's ever anything dripping.
Install water-saving shower heads: Low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators are easy to install and can be an inexpensive solution to lower bills. "Low-flow" means it uses less water per minute.
Insulate your Pipes: Insulating your water pipes is a great way to cut back on your bills. The insulation keeps the water warmer, which means you'll get the temperature you want quicker, avoiding wasted water. Pre-split foam pipe insulation works great, too.
Full loads only: Make sure you're only running your dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Avoid the permanent press cycle on your washer, this setting uses an extra 5 gallons of water during the extra rinse. Consider upgrading to new, Energy Star rated washers which use 35-50% less water and 50% less energy per load!
Mulch around trees and plants: There are a lot of ways to save water on your yard. Adding mulch near plants will slow the evaporation process, giving the plants all that they need. Mulch also discourages weed growth, an added bonus.
Watering your lawn: There are a few things to consider when it comes to watering your lawn. First, think about the placement of your sprinkler. Make sure only the grass/plants are positioned in the splash zone. There's no need to waste water on hard surfaces like sidewalks and driveways. Second, make sure your lawn really needs the water. Don't water too often unless the grass needs it. If the grass springs back up when you walk on it, it doesn't need water. Letting the grass grow a little taller (up to 3 inches) will help it retain more water in the soil. When you do decide it needs watered, deep-soak it. This means you water it long enough for the moisture to soak the roots. A short watering can result in quick evaporation.
Locate shutoff valves: Make sure your valves are working properly on both sides of your water meter. Place a tag on the main shutoff valves and make sure everyone in the house knows it's location and how to operate it in case of an emergency.
Tips for winter months: Make sure you're checking your meter periodically during the winter/cold months for damage. If you see a crack, call your water company. If you have a history of freezing pipes, be sure to run water often from the highest faucet in your house. The water bill might be higher, but you'll save a lot of time and money compared to a frozen pipe!
Thermostats make a difference: Installing a new thermostat can dramatically reduce your energy bill. New thermostats are programmable so you can heat and cool your home efficiently. You'll save a lot if you program based on when you're home. Keep the house a couple degrees cooler while you are at work. Some people find the appeal of new thermostats in the touch screens. They are more attractive, easier to use and more precise than older models.
Light bulbs: Look for the Energy Star Label on light bulbs to ensure you're getting the more efficient products. They follow strict guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy so you know you're getting a quality product.
Check your dishwasher's settings: Hand dry your dishes from the dishwasher rather than use the drying cycle to save on energy costs.
Windows: Choosing windows that are energy efficient in your home can really help lower your bills. Again, keep an eye out for the Energy Star label! In the winter, use a heavy-duty plastic sheet on the frame for an added insulation or better see First Defense for attic insulation services. It's also a good idea to keep your curtains and shades closed at night to protect against cold drafts and leave them open for sunlight during the day.