Save money on your water bill

Here`s a quick quiz: What`s the biggest energy expense in your house?

If you guessed heating and cooling, you`re right. Here`s good news about the second biggest expense - heating water for laundry, washing dishes, and bathing.

It can be brought way down with these simple tips from Consumer Reports.

First, try a shorter shower. And quit letting the water run when shaving or brushing your teeth. After scraping, there`s no need to rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.

You`re essentially cleaning them twice, and you could cause the dishwasher`s sensors to adjust to a lighter wash and not get them clean. For best
results and energy savings, always run your dishwasher fully loaded. And consider replacing your old dishwasher. New, energy-efficient models us as little as 4
gallons per load.

Ninety percent of your clothes washer`s energy goes to heating the water. Using warm water instead of hot for your laundry can cut a load`s energy use in half. And using cool water will save even more.

Consumer Reports` tests show that your clothes will still get clean. Because energy-efficient washers operate at cooler temperatures, detergents have been reformulated to do a fine job in cool water. And a word about leaks from faucets, shower heads, or toilets.  One drip per second wastes - ready for this? Almost 1,700 gallons of water a year. That`s A LOT of short showers.

Speaking of leaks, here`s one last tip from CR. To find out whether your toilet is leaking, put a few drops of food coloring into the tank. If there`s color in the bowl after 10 minutes, you`ve got a leak. Time to fix it or replace the toilet.