22 Ways to Save Water at Home

SaveWater_1.jpg

Water conservation is a big deal for protecting our planet, but it also has the bonus of helping you save money. As water usage and costs inevitably rise during the summer, there are easy ways to save water and save money on your water bill

Water shortages have begun plaguing communities all across the nation, with the West particularly suffering as it experiences a 22-year drought—its worst “megadrought” in more than a thousand years. If you’re thinking of moving to California or other parts of the West, it is imperative now more than ever to make an effort to conserve water. However, this is true no matter where you live.

Why Should I Try to Conserve Water?

SaveWater_2.jpg

By monitoring water usage and adjusting accordingly, you can help protect the planet and your wallet:

Environmental concerns. If you save water inside and outside your home, that means you’re taking less water from freshwater sources such as rivers, bays, and estuaries—which keeps the animal and plant life in those environments safe, healthy, and thriving. Water conservation also means less money and energy spent treating wastewater and saltwater, which reduces air pollution and keeps the environment healthier. 

Financial concerns. The average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water per day, which translates to more than $1,000 a year spent on water and sewer bills. While you might expect that most of this water waste comes from watering the lawn, most of the water use takes place inside. By making just a few easy changes, you can conserve water and drastically reduce your home’s water bill over time. 

How to Save Water at Home

Here are some simple ways to conserve water at home, organized by room type: outdoor, bathroom, kitchen, and laundry. 

SaveWater_3.jpg

Outdoors

  1. Let your grass grow: Raise your mower deck, so your grass is never lower than three inches. The roots will grow deeper, the blades will shade the root system, and it’s an easy way to improve the soil’s ability to retain moisture.

  2. Avoid using your hose to water landscaping: Your lawn only needs about one inch of water each week. Heavy rainfall eliminates the need to water for as long as two weeks. Here are some easy ways to conserve water for your lawn without using the hose:

  • Collect rainwater. Build a rain garden in your yard so rainwater naturally goes where it’s most needed. You can also place buckets strategically to collect rainwater and redirect the flow of any downspouts to where you want water to go.

  • Collect "warm-up" water in the shower. Collect water in a bucket whenever you wait for the shower to be the perfect temperature. Then, use that water to hydrate your thirsty grass and flowers.

  • Wash smart. If washing your car at home, wash it on or as close to your lawn as possible (while making sure to use eco-friendly cleaning products, of course!).

  • Save wastewater. When you rinse your fruits, vegetables, or other foods, use a bucket to pour the excess water on your lawn and plants.

  1. Clean with elbow grease instead of water: Use a broom instead of a hose to clean off your driveway, walkways, and garage floor.

  2. Maximize with mulch: Mulch is useful to trees and plants because it slows evaporation and discourages weed growth. Add two to four inches of organic material around your plants, pressing down around the drip line to prevent water run-off.

SaveWater_4.jpg

Bathroom

  1. Protect your pipes: According to epa.gov, leaks can waste almost a trillion gallons of water annually nationwide. Ten percent of American homes have ongoing leaks that can waste nearly 100 gallons of water per day. Something as simple as a dripping faucet can waste as much as 15 gallons a day, and a toilet leak can result in almost 100 gallons a week! One way to start water conservation at home is to check for leaks. Start by putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank of your toilet. If there's color in the bowl about a half-hour later, you have a leak. Check for drips or stains underneath your dishwasher and clothes washer, too. Then, repair or replace any leaking pipes, faucets, spigots, and loose washers.

  2. Turn the water off while you brush: Keeping the water from flowing while you brush your teeth can save up to 50 gallons of water per week, per person.

  3. Rinse your razor: Use a cup of warm water to rinse your razor instead of letting the water run—and then use that to water a house plant.

  4. Take shorter showers: Keep your showers under five minutes to save more than 10 gallons of water per shower. However, sometimes the last thing you want to do is deny yourself a long, luxurious shower; in these instances, see if you can keep it under 10 minutes. 

  5. Go low-flow: Consider purchasing a low-flow showerhead and a low-flow toilet to save water. For a DIY low-flow upgrade, put a brick in your toilet’s tank.

  6. Choose a high-efficiency toilet: High-efficiency toilets can save up to 35 gallons per day. Installing these and other high-efficiency appliances is one of the easiest ways to conserve water at home because once it’s done, you never need to think about it again. 

  7. Bathe wisely: If you need to take a bath or bathe the kids, fill the tub no more than half full to save around 20 gallons of water per bath.

  8. Try the no-flush method: If you (and your housemates) are comfortable doing so, don’t flush if you’re only urinating. Doing so could save about 1.5 gallons of water per flush. 

  9. Don’t flush tissues: Throw tissues into the trash instead of wasting precious water by flushing them down the toilet.

SaveWater_5.jpg

Kitchen

  1. Use the dishwasher: Contrary to popular belief, the dishwasher is more efficient and uses less water than handwashing dishes—particularly if you have a newer, high-efficiency model. The average dishwater water usage is six gallons per cycle, although more efficient ones only use four gallons per cycle.

  2. Ditch the garbage disposal: Try using a compost bin whenever possible. Composting retains and transfers water into the soil, meaning your lawn and plants require less irrigation.

  3. Reuse dishware: Drink a lot of water, but only use one glass each day.

  4. Thaw food in the fridge: Save water by thawing food in the fridge—not under warm running water.

  5. Don’t let ice go to waste: If some of the ice didn’t make it into your glass from the dispenser, don’t throw it in the sink. Feed it to your plants instead!

  6. Cut back on meat: Consider reducing your meat intake. It takes approximately 1,847 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef due to a cow’s diet of grass, corn, and grains. Make water conservation at home fun by observing Meatless Mondays. If you skip meat every Monday, you’ll conserve nearly 100,000 gallons of water in a year.

SaveWater_6.jpg

Laundry

  1. Only wash full loads: Half-loads of laundry still use just as much water as a full load—unless you have a newer model with a load-sensing feature. A high percentage of indoor home water use comes just from doing laundry, so by adjusting the settings on your washing machine to the appropriate load size, you can save a significant amount of water.

  2. Purchase a front-load machine: Front-load washing machines tend to be more water efficient. Learn more about top-load and front-load machines.

  3. Pre-treat stains: This will prevent you from needing to wash a load a second time.

What Else Can I Do?

These tips not only provide you with ways to save water at home but also help you save money, time, and our planet! A few small changes can make a big difference. 

To further protect your budget, consider signing up for an American Home Shield® home warranty. Our home warranty plans cover parts of up to 23 major systems and appliances. Plus, you can select add-on coverage for things like your pool and spa, roof leak repair, and a guest unit. We understand that there are many costs involved with being a homeowner—and rising utility bills are just some of them. That’s why we’ve created three plans at different price points, so you can have peace of mind that your budget will be protected when a covered system or appliance breaks down from normal wear and tear. See what’s covered by a home warranty.

Now that you’ve learned how to save water at home, consider investing in energy-efficient home improvements and finding ways to light your home more efficiently

AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

NO TWO HOMES ARE THE SAME. THAT'S WHY WE HAVE OPTIONS. FIND A PLAN THAT FITS.
Consumer Affairs Icon
Best Company Awards Icon
Women’s Choice Award Icon
Need help?
Talk to our Shield Agents 24/7.