The winter months have well and truly arrived. We’re about to settle in for a brief period of woolly jumpers and comfort food. Our local winters don’t compete with the northern hemisphere for below-freezing temperatures, but it’s all relative, and we do feel the cold (and won’t be shy complaining about it for the next month or two!).

Our desire to be warm and cosy also means that the winter months can be some of the most expensive when it comes to energy and water bills.  It’s so hard to drag yourself out of a nice warm shower in the morning, and who doesn’t like to be warm and toasty in their home sweet home?  With this in mind, there are some money saving tips to be shared, so we can all enjoy this Sydney winter.

Saving Water

It’s probably no surprise to hear that the bathroom accounts for around 70% of your home’s water usage – so this is where the most water savings can be made.  A hot shower on a cold winter morning is simply wonderful, but shower lengths can get out of hand.  A simple timer in the bathroom can help keep your family on track.

Don’t leave the tap running when you brush your teeth.  A running tap uses about 18 litres of water per minute. Dentists advise us to brush our teeth for at least 3 minutes every morning and night. It really does pay to turn the tap off while brushing your teeth. Same thing for shaving – rinse your razor in the sink and not under a running tap. These tiny details can add up to some serious water savings.

Don’t ignore leaks.  Around 14% of a home’s water usage can be attributed to leaking taps. This is completely unnecessary!  A drip from a leaking tap will almost fill a 250ml cup of water in about 15 minutes. That’s around a litre an hour … imagine if you let it go for a week … or a month … it really adds up.

Efficient Heating

Did you know that, according to the Department of Environment and Energy, around 40% of household energy use is for heating and cooling the average Australian home, with a further 21% for water heating.

If you’re thinking of an energy efficient means of warming your home, you can’t go past gas heaters.  There are many styles to choose from these days, with traditional units, or gas log fire heaters that become a visual centrepiece in your living room. There are several things to consider, including which gas unit to choose, if your bayonets are in the right location, and whether you need an extra gas point for heating. We can help you with all these things!   

Regular Maintenance

What happens when you miss two or three of your half-yearly dentist appointments?  You’re looking at two years since your last visit and suddenly find yourself needing several fillings.  Ka-ching – that adds up!  If you attend your regular appointments, you can usually get away with a standard scale and clean, and a solid reminder about flossing.  Same thing with car maintenance.  If you keep to your appointments when you reach a certain number of kilometres, it’s often a simple tune-up.  If you leave it for too long, there’s suddenly a list of things that need repairing and replacing.  Ka-ching again!

Similar principle with your home plumbing.  Having a regular maintenance check-up is important to ensure that everything is running smoothly and that any potential problems are identified early. That way, little problems can be dealt with before they become big, expensive problems.  You can conduct your own maintenance check at the change of each season – contact us for a checklist for your home’s plumbing.  Then set yourself a reminder to have us come around once a year for a professional maintenance visit.

5-Star Appliances

The results are in – front loading washing machines are more water efficient than top loaders.  This is because top loaders need to fill to the point of almost fully submerging the clothes before they get to work.  Front loaders, on the other hand, just need to wet the clothes to get started.  When you consider how many loads of washing your household does in a week (and then in a year), you can start to imagine the amount of water savings from the type of washing machine alone.

While it’s not always possible to go for top-of-the-range appliances, it’s worth doing your research and opting for as many stars as your budget allows.  The more energy and water efficient, the more you will save in the long term.  And it’s not just the big ticket items – this also applies to taps, showerheads and toilets.  For example, a standard showerhead may use up to 25 litres of water per minute whereas water-efficient showerhead might use as little as seven litres per minute.  Multiply this saving by the number of people in your household, one shower per day, across a week, and then a year – serious water saving right there!

If you have any questions about our money saving tips, please get in touch. We’re all about building strong working relationships with both our commercial and residential clients, and providing you with good advice about cost effective plumbing options plays a big part – it’s one of the reasons we’ve been operating as a reliable and reputable plumbing service for more than 30 years.

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