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How to Save Water at Home

Saving water at home is not only good for your utility bill, but it's also good for the environment. Read on to find out the many ways you can save water at home.

Where to Start Saving

Saving water around the house is good for your utility bill and the environment, presenting a win-win situation for both you and the earth. Checking all your pipes for leaks is a great starting point, but there's so much more you can do in and around the house to save water at home. Here are nine tips for saving water around your house, focusing on the four areas with the highest water consumption: the kitchen, the bathroom, the laundry room and outside.
hand under faucet


  1. Don't leave the faucet running. While you're washing vegetables or putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher, it's common to leave the faucet running as you move back and forth. While it seems like the faucet isn't running for that long in between tasks, in reality, it wastes hundreds of gallons over time. Typical faucets shoot out two gallons per minute (GPM), so leaving it running idle for even a couple of minutes really adds up.
  2. Use your dishwasher judiciously. Because of the sheer number of gallons that kitchen faucets put out, it usually saves water to run your dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand. However, this is only true if a couple of conditions are met: You scrape the plates clean (but don't rinse them too much) and you run the dishwasher only when it's full. Since dishwashers use the same amount of water and energy to run a load, you want to make sure you're maximizing the number of dishes each time you run it.


  1. Turn off the faucet. Just as in the kitchen, your bathroom faucet can waste up to two gallons a minute. Don't leave it on during common activities such as brushing your teeth, shaving or washing your hands or face. You can get your hands a little bit wet with water and then turn it off as you soap up until you're ready to rinse.
  2. Shorten your showers. If you take a 10-minute shower, you'll use up more than 20 gallons of water. While you can install showerheads that reduce the flow rate, you'll have a much bigger impact if you simply run the shower for less time. Get a waterproof timer or clock so you can track how long you're taking. Turn off the water while you're shampooing, soaping up or shaving your legs so it doesn't run unnecessarily.
    Shower Head
  3. Install a low flow toilet. Toilets are actually one of the largest users of water in a home, since older models can use three or more gallons per flush. If you're using the toilet a few times a day, this quickly adds up. If you're able to install a low flow toilet, which only uses 1.6 gallons per flush, you can reduce your toilet's water consumption by one-half. If you already have a low flow toilet, make sure that it's not overfilling or constantly running.

Laundry Room

  1. Only run full loads. Like your dishwasher, your washing machine is most efficient when you wash a full load. However, unlike dishwashers, some washing machines and washer and dryer combos let you choose the fill level, matching the water level to larger or smaller loads. Adjust the water level each time you run a load and try to consolidate your laundry as much as possible to run full loads.
  2. Install a high efficiency machine. If you don't already have one, you might consider purchasing an Energy Star certified washing machine. These machines don't fill with water, instead moving clothes through streams and sprays of high-pressure water to clean them. These machines can use up to 40 percent less water than a traditional machine, making for significant water savings.
    Washing Machine with Load of Laundry


  1. Use a pool cover. Using a swimming pool cover won't just help maintain the temperature and reduce the number of times you have to clean your pool. It can also reduce evaporation by 30 to 50 percent, according to the Department of Energy. Take off the cover before you go swimming and replace it as soon as you're done for the maximum effects.
  2. Irrigate the smart way. If you have a yard, double check your sprinkler system to ensure that you're not watering the pavement as well as the grass. If you don't have a sprinkler system, and even if you do, watering manually with a hose is also a good move for the environment: you'll save 33 percent of your water usage that way.
Conserve water and lower your utility bills by following these nine tips to save water at home. Little changes will add up over time, especially if you fix all your leaks first.