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If you’re like most homeowners, you likely have higher energy bills now that winter is in full swing. As such, you may be looking for ways to save money in other areas when it comes to your spending budget.

Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to help save on your water usage (and your water bill) this winter. Water conservation is something that most people probably associate with the summer season; however, many plumbing problems — such as burst pipes —can occur in winter if a homeowner isn’t mindful of their family’s water usage.

We’ve put together some water usage tips for you to follow for the remainder of the winter season. Read on to learn more.

Tip #1: Let water trickle through your faucets.

On excessively cold days when temperatures are well below freezing, let a small amount of water flow through your sink faucets. While this may seem like a waste, this practice can help prevent having water freeze in your lines. If that happens, you may have a burst pipe, which can lead to MUCH greater water loss!

If a pipe in your home does experience a burst, be sure to shut off water as soon as possible to prevent severe damage. Do you know where your home’s main water shutoff valve is? Learn where it is now, ahead of any unexpected emergencies.

Tip #2: Protect outdoor pipes.

If you have water lines exposed on the exterior of your home, be sure they are properly insulated. This can help to prevent water from freezing in the line and causing it to expand/burst. A professional plumber will be able to ensure that your pipes are properly insulated and wrapped so that you don’t have to deal with unexpected leaks this winter. 

Additionally, if you have an outdoor irrigation system, be sure the water to the lines is shut off. If it can’t be shut off, regularly monitor your lawn and check for areas of excess puddling after a thaw. This could indicate that there is a burst in the irrigation line underground.

Tip #3: Have a professional inspect your pipes.

An experienced plumber will be able to perform a thorough inspection of your home’s plumbing lines and check for leaks. Even if a leak seems minor, it could lead to an excessive amount of water being lost over time, as well as damage to floors, walls, cabinets, etc.

Tip #4: Install a low-flow showerhead.

A low-flow showerhead will help you to reduce your water use while bathing. These devices are specially designed to make use of less water (and, in turn, less energy to heat the water) when showering. They can be installed quickly and easily by the average homeowner.

If you’re really eager to save money on water bills and want to upgrade your bathroom as a whole, consider updating to a low-flow toilet. These toilets use less water with each flush.

Tip #5: Consider installing a tankless water heater.

These devices, also known as “on-demand” units, use less energy compared to traditional tank models. They use electricity or natural gas to rapidly heat water when it’s needed, rather than keeping a large amount of water heated and stored inside a tank. Tankless units aren’t recommended for everyone, however. If you have many people in your home making use of hot water for showers, dishes, and doing laundry at the same time, this device might not be able to keep up with your family’s needs.

Additional tips for saving water this winter!

  • Turn the water off when brushing your teeth.
  • Only run your dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
  • When hand-washing dishes, turn water off while scrubbing.
  • Be mindful of any pipe or faucet leaks and get them fixed ASAP.