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Tips on Saving Water

Posted by huntsvillerealestateinfo on July 7, 2007

Huntsville Home Owners — Tips to Save Water
Submitted by: Kimberly Grant,
Huntsville Real Estate Agent
Huntsville/Madison AL Real Estate Blog

As many of you know, in the midst of drought and all that is going on in our area, Huntsville Utilities has been encouraging local residents to try to be conservative in our water and utility usage.  We have been getting an increase in rain lately but we are still far below where we should be at this point in the year.  Huntsville Utilities has been encouraging Huntsville residents to conserve water so that our water usage will not have to be restricted.  I have been encouraging you to try to save in any way you can.  I tried to find a way to see how I can help spread the word about water conservation.  I have found these tips on how we can save water during the drought.

INSIDE WATER SAVING TIPS

  1. Check all toilets for leaks. Leaks into the overflow pipe and through the flush valve are the most common and wasteful.
  2. Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers.
  3. Don’t let water run continuously while shaving or washing your face. Brush your teeth first while waiting for water to get hot, then wash or shave after filling the basin.
  4. Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects and other such waste in the trash rather than the toilet.
  5. Install energy efficient shower heads. You will save on energy, water and sewer bills if the new shower head reduces the flow to less than two gallons per minute.
  6. Install aerators with flow restrictors on faucets. New replacement faucets should have aerators and flow restrictors built-in.
  7. Operate automatic dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are fully loaded or properly set the water level for the size of the load you are washing.
  8. Hand wash dishes wisely. Wash dishes in soapy water in one sink and rinse in clear water in the other sink.
  9. Store drinking water in the refrigerator rather than letting the tap run every time you want a cool glass of water.
  10. Insulate water pipes. You will get hot water faster plus avoid wasting water while it heats up.

OUTSIDE WATER SAVING TIPS

  1. Don’t over water your lawn. Generally, lawns only need watering every 5 to 7 days in the summer and every 10 to 14 days in the winter.
  2. Water lawns during the early morning hours when temperatures and wind speed are the lowest. This reduces loss from evaporation.
  3. Position sprinklers so that the water lands on the lawn and shrubs, not on the street, driveway or sidewalk.
  4. Install sprinklers that are the most water-efficient for each use. Micro and drip irrigation and soaker hoses are examples of water-efficient methods of irrigation.
  5. Regularly check sprinkler systems and timing devices to be sure they are operating properly.
  6. Avoid overfertilizing the lawn. The application of fertilizers increases the need for water. Apply fertilizers that contain slow-release, water-insoluble forms of nitrogen.
  7. Mulch to retain moisture in the soil. Mulching also helps to control weeds that compete with plants for water.
  8. Raise the lawn mower blade to at least three inches. A lawn cut higher encourages grass roots to grow deeper, shades the root system and holds soil moisture better than a closely clipped lawn.
  9. Use a broom to clean driveway or sidewalks. Using a hose to clean a driveway can waste hundreds of gallons of water.
  10. Outfit the hose with a shut-off nozzle which can be adjusted down to a fine spray so that water flows only as needed. When finished, turn it off at the faucet instead of at the nozzle to avoid leaks.
  11. Use hose washers between spigots and water hoses to avoid leaks.
  12. Do not leave sprinklers or hoses unattended.
  13. Check all hoses, connectors and spigots regularly.

I hope these tips have been helpful for you.  During the time of water conservation, Huntsville’s Director of Landscape Management has asked for Huntsville residents to reduce lawn watering times by at least five minutes per day.  It is estimated if just 10,000 households in our area will reduce sprinkler systems by only five minutes per day it could save 4.5 million gallons of water per day.  Just implementing a couple of changes can make such a big difference.  Don’t think that you are just one person because everyone making small changes can equate to big changes for all of us.  We can all work together to help us make it through these hot, dry days!

 

Kimberly Grant
Realtor, Exit Leon Crawford Realty
Search Huntsville Homes for Sale

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Huntsville Utility Savings

Posted by huntsvillerealestateinfo on July 3, 2007

My Huntsville Utility Bill Cut in Half!!

Consumer Tip of the Week:  Savings on Your Utility Bill
Submitted by: Kimberly Grant, Huntsville Real Estate Agent
Huntsville Real Estate Blog

Huntsville UtilitiesAs many of you know, in the midst of drought and all that is going on in our area, Huntsville Utilities has been encouraging local residents to try to be conservative in our water and utility usage.  I have been encouraging you to try to save energy and I decided to see what I could do to be more conservative in my daily routine.

Lately, I have been doing a little experiment with my utilitity usage.  I would like to share the results with you!!!  I have been making little changes and in the course of one month I cut my utility usage and ultimately my utility bill IN HALF with just four easy steps.Save Utility Bill

So here are the easy simple things that I did to save on my utility bill. 

  • I set my thermostat on 78 degrees and left it set on auto.  I made myself promise not to touch it!!
  • Turn off any lights I’m not using especially in bathroom, closet, etc.  I also stopped leaving my outside lights on all day.
  • I unplugged my appliances in the kitchen (except for the stove and refrigerator) and only plugged them in when I needed to use them.
  • I put all my major electronics on surge protectors and I turn the surge protector off when they are not in use.  (After a couple of days I got used to the blinking time on the DVD/VCR player.) 

The third one was the hardest for me to remember.  But I just got used to hitting the button on the surge protector after I finished.  Pretty much other than my major appliances, the only thing that I leave plugged in are my computer and my clocks.  THAT’S IT!!  I wish I could take credit for the idea but I actually got it from Oprah.  Until I saw that Oprah show, I really did not realize that electronics continue to draw on your utilities as long as they are plugged in even when they are not on.  But these three things are all that I did and when I log onto Huntsville Utilties website and view my usage it is almost half of my usage from last month.  Consequently, my utility bill is half the amount it was last month. 

I found all of this very interesting.  If you would like more information on the Huntsville Utilities including rates and news, please feel free to utilize the following resources: Huntsville Utilities

I will continue to try different things and let you know the results.  My next goal is to try the flourescent light bulbs that seem to be growing in popularity now.

I hope this was helpful to you,

Kimberly Grant
Realtor, Exit Leon Crawford Realty
Search Huntsville Homes for Sale

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