Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Looking for ways to reduce your water usage and waste, while saving yourself some green? Here are some helpful hints and tips for that money-wise and eco-friendly homeowner.  Undoubtedly, the toilet is the biggest water hog in the bathroom. Those made prior to 1993 use up to 8 gallons per flush, which is approximately 5 times the current toilet use.  If you’re unsure of the age of your toilet, check under the lid. According to the “National Geographic’s Green Guide,” the toilet’s manufacture date is usually stamped under the lid. Plumbing leaks account for 14 percent of total water usage in the average American home. Toilets are the main source of this leak. An inexpensive but effective test to check for a toilet leak is to use 5-10 drops of food coloring in the tank. Do not flush. Check the toilet 15 minutes later for colored water leakage into the tank.

Another source for water waste is the shower. Older shower heads were not low flow rated. You can test your shower head efficiency with this simple test. Turn the shower and catch the water in a bucket for 2 minutes. If the bucket overflows, your shower head is a wasteful model. Consider replacing it with a low flow shower head. It’ll save you money and reduce water waste. You can find shower heads for as little as $15 at any hardware store. That’s a great return on your investment because you’ll save money and water with every shower. If you really want to be frugal and eco-friendly, turn the shower off while soaping up. EarthEasy.com reminds us that even with a new shower head, a moderately short shower uses between 20 to 40 gallons of water, while a bath can use 50 to 60 gallons of water. When checking for leaks, be sure to inspect your pipes and faucets. Although these may require a professional to assist in the inspection or repair, the long-term benefits will save you money.

These hints for saving water are courtesy of Julia Frazier Yank/Nebraska Home Sales Realtor