Go With the Flow

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Men laying new hardwood flooring

When it comes to using water, most people know they are guilty of using more than their fair share.

Whether your motives are environmental or economic in nature, there are numerous practices you can use to conserve water both indoors and outdoors.

Outdoor conservation
According to Dennis Creech, executive director of Southface Energy Institute, proper irrigation systems and landscape designs can save an abundance of wasted water. Choosing the right plants makes a world of difference.

Homeowners can regulate their sprinkler systems by making sure to turn them off when it rains, and also to position them so they don’t waste water by spraying driveways and sidewalks. When you do need to clean off sidewalks, using a broom instead of the water hose will also help conserve.

For homeowners who don’t use sprinkler systems for lawn maintenance, rainwater harvesting is a great method of irrigating plants without using too much water. Rainwater harvesting is the collection of water that would otherwise have gone down the drainage system or evaporated. Homeowners can collect roof runoff in barrels and use it to irrigate their lawns as needed.

Saving water indoors
If more water is flowing from your sinks and showerheads than from your hoses, there are numerous methods and products you can use to cut back and conserve.

ENERGY STAR appliances use less energy and water than their competitors. An ENERGY STAR washing machine uses up to 50 percent less energy and 25 fewer gallons per load. Homeowners should be reminded that even when using an efficient washing machine, they should run fewer small loads, and instead run more large loads.

Similarly, only run the dishwasher when it is completely full to save energy and water. If you prefer hand-washing dishes, fill the sink with water instead of running it while scrubbing plates and utensils.

In addition to ENERGY STAR, Rinnai is offering an essential home appliance with conservation qualities. Rinnai water heaters have a reduced cycle start time of 2 to 4 seconds, which in turn means the consumer feels hot water in 40 percent less time. There is less water wasted by consumers waiting for it to heat up.

Last but not least, another huge source of water usage is the toilet, and since you don’t have the option of deciding how often you will use it, dual-flush toilets have been introduced. The toilets have two buttons, so users can select the type of flush depending on if the waste is solid or liquid. One button offers the standard 1.6-gallon flush, while the other offers an .8-gallon half flush.

With all these advances plus a little extra thought as to how much water you’re using, you can conserve without having to greatly reduce how and when you
use water.

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