Published: Aug. 8, 2019
Compared to any other season, U.S. homeowners use the most water in the summer
. It makes sense considering we’re watering thirsty lawns, growing gardens and laundry baskets fill up with dirty clothes from the beach, playing outdoors, chlorine from pools, bug repellant, etc. Water usage can creep up without us even noticing.
The average U.S. family uses approximately 320 gallons of water per day
. During the summer, it can jump to 1,000 gallons per day, mostly due to lawn watering
. Experts estimate that 50% of outdoor water usage
is wasted due to evaporation, wind or runoff due to overwatering.
Check out these tips for conserving water without sacrificing summertime fun (or paving over the yard).
Saving Water Outdoors
10. Keep Water from Evaporating
9. Check the Water Sources
- Cover the pool when it’s not in use. The average pool takes 18,000 gallons of water to fill and 30% to 50% if the pool is not covered.
- Water the yard in the morning or evening.
- Aerate the lawn to ensure water is getting to the roots.
- After use, make sure the hose is completely turned off.
- Ensure the home’s irrigation system is working properly – or isn’t leaking. Consider upgrading to one with smart rain sensors, so it doesn’t kick in shortly after a thunderstorm.
8. Keep Water Off the Driveway
7. Conserve Water
- Avoid accidentally watering the sidewalk or driveway when watering the lawn.
- Sweep walkways and driveways instead of using water to rinse them.
- Use a commercial car wash; it uses only about 40 gallons compared to 100 gallons if washed at home.
- Drain whatever water is left in the kiddie pool on outdoor plants.
- Use a rain barrel to collect water and reuse on outdoor plants.
- Grow native or regionally compatible plants because it requires less water.
Saving Water Indoors
Summertime means more activities, more children on vacation and (likely) more water use. Certain areas in our homes are also more likely to waste water than others: The laundry room, basement, bathroom and kitchen.
6. Keep Clothes Clean, Efficiently
5. Maintain Balance in the Basement
- The average High Efficiency (HE) or front-loader washing machines use 17 gallons of water per load. Top-loaders use an average of 33 gallons per load.
- When washing clothes, consider using a HE machine, wash only full loads, and use the recommended amount of soap to keep from wasting water. According to recent research from Resideo’s Buoy team, adding more soap doesn’t get your clothes any cleaner – it only wastes more water.
4. Pay Attention to the Powder Room
- Run a dehumidifier to pull moisture from the air, help keep humidity down, keep the air smelling clean and prevent mold. Moisture tends to settle in basements due to leaky foundations and condensation from appliances.
- Use the water collected in the dehumidifier to water household plants or any other nonedible outdoor plants.
3. Keep Kitchens Efficient
- Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe around the shower and sink in every bathroom for potential leaks.
- Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, there is a leak.
- Run a full dishwasher rather than handwashing dishes throughout the day, which uses fewer gallons of water.
- Consider using an ENERGY STAR certified dishwashing machine, which can save nearly 5,000 gallons of water per year compared to washing dishes by hand.
- Check for leaks around the sink, dishwasher and refrigerator.
2. Demystify the Utility Room
1. Check the Phone and Look All Around the Home
- Check both the bottom and top of a water heater for leaks. Even small leaks can turn into a major flood.
- Don't forget to check the water softener unit and its line for any water pooling or dripping. Water softeners rarely leak, but they can still potentially flood the basement.
- Checking exposed water pipes for leaks is as easy as it sounds. Fixing any leaking pipes or appliances is the best way to avoid basement flooding.
- For an added layer of protection, homeowners can monitor their home’s water through their phones. Resideo's Buoy Whole-Home Connected Water Solution includes a product and app the detects leaks, sends alerts and provides remote water shut-off to prevent catastrophic water damage.
- Stay on top of water consumption by taking a closer look around the house for potential water issues and saving opportunities. For example, household leaks can waste nearly 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide. Leaks usually go unnoticed until they potentially turn catastrophic.
The more we do to conserve and manage water in our homes, the bigger difference we can make in overall water conservation. We can stay cool, enjoy summer and get smart about the water in our homes all at the same time.