Home Energy Makeover

Home Energy Makeover
The average American uses 70 gallons of water each day. We can comfortably cut that in half, says Chris Brown, executive director of the California Urban Water Conservation Council. Here are his top water-saving tips:

1. CHOOSE A FRONT-LOADING WASHING MACHINE. Look for an Energy Star-rated front-loading model: It requires about half as much water as a top-loading machine (which uses up to 50 gallons a load) and will lower your electricity bill. Water saved: 20 to 25 gallons per load.

2. INSTALL FAUCET AERATORS. Outfit your sinks with aerators (available at hardware stores) and you’ll use less water. Water saved: 60 percent of your water usage.

3. USE A LOW-FLOW SHOWERHEAD. The latest low-flow models provide plenty of water pressure. Water saved: Thousands of gallons a year.

4. CHECK FOR TOILET LEAKS. Ask your utility company for free dye tablets to drop in the tank. If dye appears in the bowl, call the plumber. If you need to replace the toilet, opt for a water-efficient model that uses less than 1.28 gallons per flush. Water saved: More than 2,000 gallons of water annually (the amount a leaky toilet wastes).