Summer may have technically "begun" last week, but we Houstonians know better. No matter what the calendar says, when the temps get high enough that we dread going outside to do yardwork or even take a peek at our ever-climbing cooling bills, that's when Summer's hit in Houston.
In addition to A/C bills, water consumption also tends to skyrocket during the dog days of Summer. From lawn-watering to helping your kids and pets (and you!) beat the heat with swimming pools and other outdoor water toys, we tend to spend the bulk of our annual water bills during Summer.
Here are some ways to slash your water budget this Summer without sacrificing your yard:
- Know when to run your sprinklers and when to keep them shut off. Running your sprinklers during the daytime is a surefire way to throw money down the tubes. The afternoon heat will evaporate most of that water, meaning your water bill will be higher, but your lawn won't be any greener. Watering early in the morning is ideal. At night, you definitely won't have to worry about the sunlight evaporating the water, but mold can become a concern over time when you water late at night. Early morning, pre-8:00 a.m. is best.
- Water your lawn, not your sidewalk. Before walking back indoors, make sure your sprinklers point in a direction that maximizes your coverage and waters what needs to be watered. If it's a particularly windy day, postpone watering to avoid wasting water on your driveway, sidewalk, or fence.
- Plant shrubs and trees to reduce your watering needs. Added foliage can block sunlight, keeping your lawn from becoming scorched during Summer.
- Install a professional irrigation system to water your lawn. A sprinkler system can manage things for you, making sure you don't accidentally leave a sprinkler running overnight or forget to water one side of the yard.
- Give your sprinkler system a break if Mother Nature did the work for you. No need to water twice, right? If it rained, give your sprinklers the week off.
- Water less often but for longer periods of time. Instead of watering just a few minutes every day, water once or twice a week but for 20 minutes at a time to ensure the water goes deeper, which is where you want it anyway.
- Maintain your sprinklers, and check for pipe and hose leaks. These plus accidentally leaving your sprinkler running longer than you'd intended can waste tons of money every month in water consumption.
- Install a rain barrel. Rain in Summer? In Houston? Sounds a bit far-fetched after last Summer's drought, we know. Regardless, installing a rain barrel is a great way to catch some water from Mother Nature and reuse it to water your lawn, wash your car, or whatever else you can come up with. Plus, installing a rain barrel is easier than you think.
Got any Summer water-saving tips of your own? We'd love to hear them.
Having outdoor plumbing problems? We can help!