Many people think carefully about how to save water in their homes during the summer, but conserving water in the wintertime is just as important. In fact, you should pay extra attention to the water you use in wintertime, precisely because many people assume they’re going to useless, and then stop keeping track of it. The average US household uses more than 300 gallons of water every day, and a shocking 70% of that can be attributed to indoor use. This means watering your lawn and other summer considerations aren’t the only things you need to consider.
Fortunately, we’re here to help. We’ve put together a quick list of things you can do to reduce the water you’re most likely to use indoors when the weather cools down.
- Drip the Faucets in Your Home
You’re probably already confused by this one, so let us explain how letting your faucets drip periodically can actually save you water. Consider the following: more than a trillion gallons of water are wasted every year across the US from leaking or burst pipes. You might waste a little water by letting the faucet drip overnight or when you’re out of the house, but it will relieve pressure in your pipes and prevent the kind of rupture that could cost you a much greater amount.
- Insulate Your Hot Water Pipes
Your water pipes cool down in the wintertime, which means that it takes longer for your water fixtures to produce hot water. You can speed up the process by wrapping your pipes in insulation or hiring a trustworthy plumber to do it for you.
- Gather Cold Water from Your Shower and Reuse It
Even if you wrap your pipes with insulation, larger water fixtures like your shower will still take some time to heat up the first time you turn them on each morning. You can prevent the cold water they expectorate at first from being wasted by putting a bucket in your shower to catch it, and then pouring it over household plants or using it for other purposes.
- Locate the Shutoff Valve for Your Home
On the off-chance that one of your water pipes does become ruptured, you’ll need to know how to shut off the water in your home before you have a major leak on your hands. Before winter begins, look for the water shutoff valve that controls your home. Some urban dwellings will have shutoff valves located at street level, especially apartment buildings. Houses in other neighborhoods will probably have individual valves located in the basement, attic, or cellar areas.
- Look for Leaks at the Start of Spring
The temperature changes in most US areas are more intense from day to night time than they are in other seasons. As a result, the metal in your pipes will undergo a greater amount of expansion and contraction on a regular basis. This makes leaks during the wintertime more likely, even if you take proper precautions throughout the season. When winter is over, be sure to check your pipes for any leaks you may have missed so that you can avoid continued waste during the rest of the year.
These are not the only ways to cut down on water waste in your home. In addition to using these strategies, you’ll probably want to study up on some year-round solutions you can use to conserve. If you do, you should be able to reduce your environmental footprint and enjoy lower utility bills as a reward for your efforts.
Author: Uma Campbell