Save energy and water by not leaving the water running when you wash dishes.
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Save energy and water by not leaving the water running when you wash dishes.

Saving Water & Energy


Water Bills

The water heater is the second biggest energy user in the home. You're charged for the water - and for heating it. An average family can spend about $290 a year just taking showers, and many families spend more.

  • Install a low-flow shower head They use half the water that regular ones use - and can save $2 a month per family member.
  • Turn the water heater thermostat down to 120°F That saves energy and prevents scalding.
  • Take short showers They use about half as much water as a full bathtub.
  • Repair leaky water faucets One drop a second can waste as much as 25 gallons a week!
  • Buying a new water heater? Get one that is no larger than required for your household needs.

Washing Dishes

If you use a dishwasher:

  • Wash only full loads It costs exactly the same to wash one dish as a whole load.
  • Air dry dishes If the dishwasher has an air-dry feature, use it.
  • Hand-rinse dishes in cold water and only if you plan to wait a day or more before washing. Most dishwashers today do a great job of washing dishes without pre-rinsing. So save energy, water and elbow grease - and time.
  • Fill dishwasher with detergent right before running Dry detergent may harden, while liquid detergent can leak.
  • Fill the dishwasher according to the manufacturer's instructions This will allow the flow of water to properly clean the dishes.

If you wash by hand:

  • Rinse dishes in groups rather than one at a time.
  • Don't leave the water running.
  • Don't wash a few dishes - wait unit you have a sink full.

Laundry

  • Wash laundry in warm or cold water instead of hot Hot water needs to be used only for oily stains and very dirty loads.
  • Lower the thermostat from the recommended 140°F to 120°F Each 10 degree reduction in water temperature will generally save you 3 to 5 % on your water heating costs.
  • Wash and dry only full loads The machine uses about the same amount of water whether you wash a full load or just one item.
  • Clean the dryer lint filter after every load Clogged filters drive up drying costs.
  • Clean your outside dryer exaust vent It draws unwanted heat away from the house.
  • Dry several loads of laundry in a row Using the heat already there saves money.
  • Dry clothes outside in good weather Sunlight is free!

Last updated September 1, 2015