Water saving features that can save you money
When it comes to plumbing around the house, there are many simple ways that you save on water and save on money. Not only does this better preserve one of the planet’s most important resources, but it also helps you save more money for the things in life that matter.
The Australian government estimates that smarter water decisions could save Australians more than $2 billion by 2030. These savings come from reduced water bills and also, primarily, reduced electricity and gas costs from avoided water heating.
It’s a great idea to consider some of the features discussed in this article when doing small or large scale renovations, or even building from scratch. A few smart design decisions can go a long way.
Dish washing with the stars
As we get more and more busy (and maybe a little bit lazier), dishwashers have become increasingly popular in everyday households. While your dishwasher might be an absolute lifesaver after dinner, you should make sure that it’s also a watersaver.
The good news is that most modern dishwashers are a great idea when it comes to water efficiency. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that the average Australian household users 31 litres of water per day in the kitchen sink. Modern dishwashers use far less than this, so you are already saving on water compared to manually washing dishes.
The newest dishwashers don’t even require you to rinse the dishes before putting them in the machine, saving you even more water.
That being said, old dishwashers were not good at preserving water – so if your household dishwasher was installed decades ago, definitely consider an upgrade.
How do you know which dishwasher is best? Pay close attention to star ratings. The Australian government mandates a “Water Rating Label” out of six, that specifies how water efficient the product is. This lets you quickly compare your options, while also detailing how many litres per wash the dishwasher uses.
When using your dishwasher, consider utilising the “fast” or “eco” washing cycle. These tend to be a bit less greedy with their use of water and energy, while very rarely compromising the quality of the wash.
Also make sure that your dishwasher has good “auto-sensing” or “half-load” functionality. This means that the dishwasher will attempt to use a suitable amount of water for the amount of dishes that actually need to be washed. This can save you a lot of water in the long run.
Think about your shower (over)heads
Who doesn’t love getting in the shower after a big day? We’ve all heard about we should have shorter showers, and others say we should lower the water pressure. But sometimes you want to relax and wash for longer than three minutes, with the water blasting over your back.
Fortunately, there’s another way that you can save water while in the shower! There are some pretty cool eco-friendly shower heads out there, which replicate the feel of a high pressure shower head while actually using a lot less water.
For example, some inject air directly into the water stream to replicate this high pressure sensation. Others pulse water at a non-continuous (but still extremely quick) rate, which feels the same but uses about half as much water.
Even if you don’t want to dip your toes so far into the world of high-tech, you can still look out for shower heads that are specifically water efficient – sometimes at the expense of a bit of water pressure. You probably won’t notice the difference, but end up saving a lot of money on your water and energy bills.
Don’t flush away money – save on water!
While probably one of your household items you’d like to think about the least, toilets are actually a massive consumer of water. Flushing your toilet uses a huge amount of water, especially if your toilet was installed a couple of decades ago (like many are in this country).
One of the best innovations in toilet water efficiency was the use of single or dual flushes. If you have an older toilet without this functionality, you should definitely consider upgrading. Older toilets use more than 12 litres of water per flush! For comparison, a modern toilet uses only 3 litres per half-flush.
Another great modern innovation is the use of hand-washing basins on top of the cistern. When you flush the toilet, water flows into the basin from a tap which you can use to wash your hands. This water then flows through and is used to refill the toilet cistern.
A combination of dual flush toilets and hand basins that flow into the cistern can save you a staggering amount of water every day.
You will be surprised with how much money you can save on a yearly basis by making a few smart design decisions when renovating your home. All the while, you are helping to preserve an extremely important natural resource.
Dishwashers are actually a great way to save water. Make sure your dishwasher is modern, has a good star rating, great auto-sensing functionality and an eco-wash option.
Having an efficient shower doesn’t necessarily have to mean a sad, low-pressure affair. Consider checking out eco-friendly shower heads that use half as much water for the same satisfying result.
Toilets are one of the biggest water-wasters in your household. If you have an old toilet, with only single flush, you should definitely consider replacing it.