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Plumbing Tips

Short showers save water
To be a water saver, install a low-flow shower head and keep showers under 5 minutes. Turn off the water to soap up.

Flush only when necessary
Avoid using the toilet for a wastebasket. Every flush you can eliminate can save between two and seven gallons of water

Test your toilet
Leaks waste water. Add several drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If it's leaking, the coloring will appear in the toilet without flushing.

Reduce water use

If you don't have a low flow toilet, use plastic bottles filled with water and pebbles to displace water in the tank. Don't obstruct float and don't use bricks.

Brush teeth efficiently
Don't let the water run while you brush your teeth or shave. Turn the faucet on briefly to rinse. An electric razor saves the most.

Conserve water
Filling the tub uses about 50 gallons of water. Try bathing in just 10 gallons. Plug the tub when you shower; how full does the tub get?

Wash clothes wisely
Match washer's load selector to your load size. Try to wash only full loads. Minimize detergent use. Save energy by using cold water to wash.

Save water and energy
Buying a new washing machine? Choose wisely. Find the ones that conserves water and energy and has a suds saver attachment.

Prepare food efficiently
Speed cleaning food by using a vegetable brush. Spray water in short bursts. Faucet aerators cut consumption.

Reduce dish washing
Use a rubber spatula to scrape dishes clean to limit pre-rinse. Let really dirty pans or dishes soak to speed washing.

Use fewer dishes
Limit dishwasher use to full loads. Minimize detergent use. Prepare food with an eye to reducing dish washing

Wash cars efficiently
Choose a car wash that recycles water. At home, use a shut-off nozzle and wash your car in small sections. Direct runoff to water landscaping.

Cover pool or spa

Cover pools and spas to reduce evaporation. Avoid overflows and splashes by reducing water levels. Water landscape with wading pool water.

Find a better way
Avoid using garbage disposals. Compost or feed leftovers to pets when possible. Use recycled water in disposal.

Don't blow it away
Limit the loss of expensive heated air to the outside. Use fans sparingly. In just one hour, these fans can blow away a house full of warm air.

Sorry Santa
Keep fireplace dampers tightly closed until you prepare to light a fire. An open damper in a 48-inch square fireplace can let as much as 8% of our heat escape out the chimney.

Caulk it up
Caulking and weather stripping are reasonably easy, so you may be able to save money by doing the job yourself. Reducing air leaks to a minimum may also allow you to lower the thermostat on your system without any discomfort.

Don't jack it up
Lower your thermostat to about 65 degrees F during the day and 60 degrees F at night. For each degree you turn down your thermostat, you'll save 3% on heating bills.

Fireplace can cause heat loss
When using the fireplace, open dampers in the bottom of the firebox if provided, or open the closet window about 1 inch and close the doors leading into the room. This allows more air for the fire without reducing heat loss.

Try this out
Make a draft detector by clipping a piece of tissue paper to a coat hanger. Hold the coat hanger in front of a suspected crack; any movement indicates a leak in need of caulking or weather stripping.

Kids off to college?

Avoid heating unused areas by closing off unoccupied rooms and shutting off heat vents. (Does not apply if you have a heat pump)

Keep it up to par
Keep the heating system well tuned with periodic maintenance by a professional service. Once a year is a good bet.

What does R mean?
Learn about R values before you buy your insulation materials. These numbers indicate resistance of an insulation material to winter heat loss or summer heat gain.

Old windows can cost you a bundle
Consider installing storm windows and doors. Storm windows can be both energy efficient and convenient. Good windows can result in cost savings of as much as 15% a year.

Upgrade your old thermostat
Consider the advantages of a clock thermostat for your heating system. The clock thermostat will turn the heat down automatically at a regular hour before you retire and turn it up again before you wake.

Keep it closed
Close windows and doors during hot days and open them at night

Put those drapes to use
Close drapes and shades during hot days

Eat out in the summer
Reduce use of oven, incandescent lights and appliances that generate heat ~ stay cool

Spin cycle
To stay cool, use ceiling fans to cool individual rooms

Consider this
To stay cool, consider installing a whole house fan in the attic

Use a precise method
Get a timer for air conditioners so they can be off all day and turned on before you get home.

Try this on your house
Time for a new color? Use light colors when painting the house and trim.

Not just for a hammock
Stay cool by planting shade trees on the sunny side of the house.

Save some water…
Replacing an old shower head can save up to 7.5 gallons of water per minute without sacrificing full spray action at low or high water pressures.

Keep your septic system running smoothly
Failed septic systems can allow untreated sewage to seep into wells, groundwater, and surface waterbodies -- where you get your drinking water and swim. Failed septic systems also contaminate our lakes, pollute water supplies, and create offensive odors. Have your septic tank inspected and pumped regularly by a licensed septic tank contractor every 3 to 5 years. Pumping your septic tank is the most important thing you can do to protect your septic system. If the buildup of solids in the tank gets too high and solids move into the drain field, your drain field will clog and strain your system, causing your drain field to fail. Then you will have to replace the whole drain field

Keep your loved ones safe

All circuits in the bathroom need to be equipped with GFI protection. GFI stands for Ground Fault Interrupter. These circuits will turn the power off in a fraction of a second in the event of a short. This will help to keep you and your loved ones from being injured in the event of an electrical short circuit.

Lowering Runoff Pollution
If you wash your car at a car wash, you are actually helping to lower the amount of polluted runoff water. At a car wash, the water is recycled to remove any pollutants from washing the vehicles.

If you prefer to wash your car at home, you could try to wash it on an unpaved surface such as grass. This helps because the ground filters out a lot of the pollutants, naturally

Rooftop Runoff
Water that runs off of your roof can be collected in a barrel and recycled to water your landscaping after the rain. This recycling of water can save you money because you are not paying for the water that didn't come from your faucet.

As an alternative, you could run downspouts to unpaved surfaces to allow the ground to filter out any pollutants.


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