An easy way to save money on utilities is to simply cut back on using them as often.

Don't get me wrong; I love saving money as much as the next gal, but I can only stop cooking so long before my family starts getting upset!

I do other things to save money on utilities, though, like lowering the thermostat, unplugging things that aren't in use, and even taking shorter showers. But the most painless thing I've done to save money was converting to a dual flush toilet.

High efficiency toilets

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, toilets are responsible for about 30% of a home’s indoor water consumption. By replacing a standard toilet with a high efficiency model, like a dual flush toilet, it is possible to save 4,000 gallons of water each year. To put it into budget-friendly terms, a family of four can save $90 each year on utility bills (according to the EPA).

Dual flush toilets have two options for flushing (the inspiration for the name) in order to control the amount of water that is used for each flush. When using the low flush option, it is possible to save a half-gallon of water for each flush. Standard toilets use the same amount of water with each flush, wasting gallons of water and money in the process.

Benefits of converting

This water savings calculator demonstrates how much water is wasted, how much water and money can be saved, and how quickly a household can make their money back after purchasing a high efficiency toilet. According to my own household calculations, my family is saving over $60 a year by making this change.

It takes less than 10 minutes to install the new toilet and most products come with a five-year warranty.

It's cheap. A conversion kit can be purchased at stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s from $20 to $40 depending on which kit is purchased. The savings start instantly.

Other ways to save

Aside from the Dual Flush, it is also possible to change the fill valve. The HydroClean Toilet Fill Valve can be calibrated to eliminate overfilling the toilet bowl during the tank filling process and is also designed to detect leaks by emitting a sound when a leak is detected.

Flappers are the number one reason for leaks in toilets. Installing the wrong flapper can silently waste up to 200 gallons of water per day. Using an MSJI Flapper results in a water tight seal in even the harshest in-tank conditions.

If converting isn't an option, check for leaks by adding food coloring to the tank to see if the water in the bowl changes colors. A change in water color is proof there is a leak.

Save Water and Money: Improve Your Toilet's Efficiency