Home Conservation Tips

Less than 1% of the world's fresh water supplies are available for human consumption.

Smart Water Use - Indoors

Other Tips Include

  • Fix All Leaks - Toilet leaks can waste hundreds of gallons a day...and dollars too. Drop a small amount of food coloring in the tank (do not flush), if color appears in the bowl, you have a leak. Or request toilet dye strips via email to utilityleadrep@columbus.gov to perform the same test (Columbus Utilities customers only). Also, be sure to fix dripping faucets by replacing washers. And since some leaks are not visible and may be silent, read your water meter before going to bed and again first thing in the morning before there is any water usage. If the number is larger - you have a leak that needs repaired. Learn how to locate & read your water meter or explore other ways to reduce your bill.

More information on finding leaks can be found in our Leak Detection Handbook(PDF, 332KB).

Smart Water Use - Outdoors

Other Tips Include

  • Planting Trees - Did you know that trees cool your home and protect other plants from moisture loss? A tree can release 100 gallons of water into the atmosphere every day, and has the same cooling effect as five average air conditioners.
  • Mulch Around Plants & Trees - Uniformly spreading mulch or Com-Til on the surface of the soil around plants conserves moisture in the soil and prevents weed growth.

Learn more about Com-Til, a high quality organic mulch produced by our Compost Facility.

Smart Energy Use

  • See Green Home(PDF, 39KB) for simple tips you can use to save every day.
  • Visit the U.S. Department of Energy for additional energy saving tips.
  • Looking for more ways to save and go green? GreenSpot has over 40 different ideas of how to green up your home. Visit this Energy Star/Water Sense e-store for products that will save money. View our Energy Savings Tips page (coming soon); among other things, you will find a link to a rebate for a programmable thermostat.

Other Tips Include

  • Air Conditioners
    Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The less difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be. Consider using an interior fan in conjunction with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air more effectively through your home without greatly increasing your power use. Plant trees or shrubs to shade air-conditioning units but not to block the airflow. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10% less electricity than the same one operating in the sun. Purchase a correctly sized room air conditioning unit. Buying a bigger air conditioning unit won't necessarily make you feel more comfortable during the hot summer months. Look for the ENERGY STAR and EnergyGuide labels.
  • Water Heating
    Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home. It typically accounts for about 14% of your utility bill. Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank and pipes, but be careful not to cover the thermostat. Buy a new energy efficient water heater. Although most water heaters last 10-15 years, it's best to start shopping for a new one if yours is more than 7 years old. Lower the thermostat on your water heater; water heaters sometimes come from the factory with high temperature settings, but a setting of 115 degrees Fahrenheit provides comfortable hot water for most uses. Repair leaky faucets promptly; a leaky faucet wastes gallons of water in a short period. Install non-aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads.

Home conservative tips

What You Can Do To Be More Green
Simple things you can do in your own home or neighborhood to protect our environment and green your world. You may just save a little green in your wallet too by learning about GreenSpot and Columbia Gas energy efficiency programs.