It is common for homeowners to try and find ways to save money on their energy bills. When you waste water, you are not only increasing your water and sewage bills, you are also using electricity or natural gas to heat and filter the water. Wasted water is literally money going down the drain.
Reduce the Amount of Water Coming Out of the Tap
Any water that comes out of your faucets must eventually go down a drain. This means that the simplest method of energy usage reduction is to reduce the amount of water that comes out of the tap. Since cooking often requires specific amounts of water, the bathroom becomes the main target of water reduction programs.
Water conservation does not always mean shorter showers, but this is certainly a solid choice. Instead, you can install a shower head that reduces the flow of water while still maintaining the same water pressure. For a small investment, you can reduce the amount of water your shower uses by around 7 litres per minute. This is nearly half the amount of water you are using without affecting the length of your shower at all. Similarly, you can purchase low flow toilets and faucet regulators, to continue the reduction in water usage without having to change your routines at all.
Consider Adding a Solar Water Heating System to Your Home
Water is not the only resource used in your kitchen and bath. Hot water requires energy to heat it as well. Most traditional systems use electricity and natural gas to heat the water, but this is not your only option.
Solar water heaters are often a more efficient use of panels than trying to convert the heat to electricity. In the summer, they may even be able to provide all of the hot water your household needs without a secondary heating system. While a purely solar system would be the most efficient choice, the climate in Canada means that you will likely need to use a secondary heating system to produce enough hot water for winter use. Even so, a well designed system should allow you to recoup your initial investment in 8 to 12 years.
Reuse the Energy You Have Burned
It is inevitable that you are going to use water, and much of the hot water you use will still be warm when it goes down the drain. A daringly simple method of reducing water costs is to transfer some of the heat from the waste water into the fresh water you are going to use later. Known as drain water heat recovery, it does take some additional plumbing, but running cold water through a coil wrapped around your drain allows it to absorb quite a bit of that residual heat. The warmed up water can then go into your heater, which will in turn have to do less work to get the fresh water up to the correct temperature.
Another method of reusing water is gray water systems. These systems take water that has been used for things like hand washing and laundry and reuses them, often for irrigation. Regulations on what this water can be used for vary greatly, so you will need to check on what is possible in your area before installing a gray water system. However, these systems can greatly reduce water usage by allowing you to use water that is not for drinking or other human contact more than once before it goes down the sewer.
Reducing energy usage in your home is more than just turning off the lights when you leave the room. It is also about investing in products and technology that allow you to enjoy the comforts of modern life while still reducing your energy usage.