There’s no denying the fact that home water and utility costs have risen over the recent decade. As homeowners are feeling the crunch, they’re investing in more efficient options for their homes. When it comes to your household plumbing, there are many options to choose from.

Low-Flow Toilets

A great investment for any homeowner to reduce their water usage is a low-flow toilet. There’s no need for a large flush of water every time someone in your house uses the bathroom. This is where a low-flow toilet comes into play.

Low-flush toilets save water by using significantly less per flush than traditional toilets. They typically use around 1.6 gallons per flush, whereas older toilets use around 3.5 gallons. According to estimates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a household of four people may flush the toilet up to 20 times per day, totaling around 7,300 flushes yearly. In this scenario, low-flush toilets can save around 13,870 gallons of water per year. By investing in low-flush toilets, homeowners can help conserve water resources and lower their monthly water bills.

Low-Flow Faucets

Another great investment is low-flow faucets. Contrary to popular belief, these faucets don’t reduce your water pressure. Rather, they simply increase the amount of aeration that is introduced into the water that comes out of your faucet. The EPA suggests that installing low-flow faucets can save the average household around 700 gallons of water per year, equivalent to the amount of water needed to take 45 showers. Low-flow fixtures are fairly affordable for the average homeowner, which is a big plus.

Low-Flow Showerheads

Just like low-flow toilets and faucets, another must-have fixture for your home is the low-flow showerhead. Working just like faucets to increase the amount of aeration in your water, this particular device helps to reduce the amount of water that you use each minute. This can do wonders for saving on your water usage during a typical shower. The best part is that they come in a variety of styles, finishes, and colors, so you’ll be sure to find a low-flow showerhead that matches the design of your home.

Tankless Water Heaters

One new technology that is taking the plumbing world by storm is the tankless water heater. Unlike traditional water heaters, this version doesn’t require a large tank to store pre-heated water. Rather, the tankless hot water heater works to heat water on demand. This helps to save energy costs by eliminating the need to waste energy by keeping water hot when no one is using it.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), tankless water heaters can be up to 34% more energy efficient for homes that use less than 41 gallons of hot water daily. They are less efficient for larger households. However, they are still beneficial and can be 8% to 14% more energy efficient for homes that use around 86 gallons of hot water daily. The DOE suggests that the average household can save between $100 and $300 per year on energy bills by switching to a tankless water heater.

Insulate Your Piping

One easy upgrade to enhance your plumbing system’s efficiency is installing insulation on your piping. All of your water supply lines for your hot pipes should have insulation on them. There are various types, such as foam and tape wrapping. Either option will work to help keep heat from escaping out of the water line. The warmer you can keep your hot water lines, the less you’re going to have to rely on your hot water heater to produce hotter water.

Upgrade Your Outdated Appliances

If you compare dishwashers from 10 years ago to the options available today, there’s no denying the fact that older dishwashers use much more water. By upgrading your dishwasher to a more water-efficient option, you can help reduce your water consumption while enhancing the cleaning capacity of your dishwasher. The same goes for your washing machine and even your refrigerator with an ice maker and fresh water supply.

Smart Plumbing Systems

As smart technology continues to be introduced to the residential marketplace, one option you shouldn’t overlook is a smart plumbing system. These systems often include leak detection sensors that can swiftly identify and alert homeowners to any water leaks, helping to prevent waste and potential water damage.

Additionally, smart faucets and showerheads equipped with sensors can regulate water flow, reducing water waste while still providing a comfortable shower. When it comes to watering your lawn and garden, smart irrigation controllers can adjust watering schedules based on weather forecasts and soil moisture levels.

Finally, smart plumbing systems provide you with water use reports. This information can let you know if your water conservation efforts are effective. They also empower you to make better decisions to reduce your home’s water use and associated costs.

Lower Your Water Heater Temperature

Regardless of whether you have a tank-style or tankless water heater, they both have settings for the desired temperature you want your water to be. While you’ll likely have this set high for the winter season, you can definitely decrease your unit’s water temperature during the summertime months. Most experts recommend having your water heater set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is warm enough to ward off nasty bacteria in the water supply but not so hot that it runs up your energy bill.

Opt for Greywater Recycling

Wastewater that is relatively clean from activities like washing your dishes or taking a bath can be easily reused for other purposes in your household. For example, you can use your greywater for garden and yard irrigation or even toilet flushing. By installing a recycling system, you can save yourself from having to pay for fresh water to do tasks where greywater can easily suffice.

Collect Rainwater

When you’re trying to be more efficient with your home’s water usage, one great idea is to install a rainwater collection device outside. A simple rain barrel can be all you need to collect enough water for outdoor tasks. This rainwater can be perfect for things like watering the garden, cleaning your car, or even washing off your children after a muddy day of exploring. The best part is that you don’t have to do any work other than set up the initial rainwater collection system.

Regular Inspections

Water leaks may not seem like much at first. However, they can add up to a costly expense over time. A good way to keep your water bills to a minimum is to inspect your home’s plumbing regularly. Take some time to look under your sinks and other wet areas to see if there are any water droplets or even pooling. Both of these can indicate a leak that should be taken care of sooner rather than later. By performing a regular inspection of your entire plumbing system, you can minimize any water loss due to unnecessary leakage.

Reliable Plumbing Service

At Southport Home Services, we offer reliable plumbing services for Madison, WI, residents. We can also assist with all of your heating, cooling, commercial, bathroom remodeling, and indoor air quality needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced team members.

Meet the Author
Thomas Suchla
Thomas Suchla


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