CAROLYN KAPPRA

Real Estate: Full Service, Full Time

Keep It Green by Saving Water

As homeowners, it's important to do your part to minimize your footprint, which - bonus - can also save you money in the long run. And in addition to turning off lights when you leave the room, focusing on water consumption is a great way to shrink your environmental impact.

"Whether it's saving money on utility bills, environmental concerns, or wanting to decrease consumption in general, there are plenty of reasons people want to cut back on their water usage," says Max Rose, owner of Four Seasons Plumbing. "Luckily, technology has made it easier than ever before. With modern appliances and fixtures, the days of putting a brick in the toilet tank to save water are over." 

Rose recommends homeowners take the following steps to reduce their water usage:

Use efficient features on appliances. Every year appliances improve their energy and water efficiency. Most new dishwashers and washing machines come with sensors that can detect how much water needs to be used in a given cycle. Using that feature helps ensure those appliances use just the right amount of water necessary. 

Wash full loads. Appliances that are older than five years may not have as many water-saving abilities as newer ones. Homeowners can reduce their water usage by washing full loads of clothes or dishes. The washer will use the same amount of water, regardless of how full it is. Only washing full loads causes the washer to be used less often.

Repair plumbing leaks. Whether it's a leaky faucet, toilet or pipe, fixing plumbing leaks is important for saving water, saving money and avoiding bigger problems. Sometimes leaks can be easy to ignore if it's only a drop every few seconds, but those drops add up over the course of an entire day.

Water plants using recycled water in the morning. Water previously used for cooking (such as boiling pasta) can be used to water a garden. Additionally, watering in the morning means less moisture will be lost to evaporation than watering them in the afternoon.

Take cars to the car wash. Many commercial car washes recycle the water used in early parts of the cycle, so washing vehicles at a car wash can use less water than doing so at home. Commercial car washes also have to follow guidelines when it comes to disposing wastewater and the types of soaps they use. Washing vehicles at home can carry harmful chemicals to the storm drain, which, contrary to popular belief, does not flow to the sewer. Storm water is often carried to local waterways, which means cleaning cars at a car wash can both conserve water and prevent local pollution.

"In addition to the aforementioned list, it's also important to do other things that have been talked about for a long time, like not leaving the faucet on while brushing your teeth," Rose says. "If you combine those common sense practices with other measures, you can see a significant difference in the amount of water you use."

Source: Four Seasons Plumbing. Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2019. All rights reserved.

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February 2019, Buyer/Seller Edition

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