People all over the world are constantly finding new ways to be comfortable in their homes without leaving a significant footprint on the environment. Solar panels and energy efficient appliances are commonplace in households nowadays. These products do a great job of reducing energy usage, but did you know you can make your plumbing systems eco-friendly as well? Here are some great ways to improve energy efficiency and water usage throughout your home. This is an affordable way to reduce your overall impact on the environment.
Get an Efficient Water Heater: As water heaters age, they drastically start to lose efficiency because of leaks or failing equipment. New water heaters come in a variety of energy-efficient options. Tankless water heaters save space, and they work by rapidly heating the water as it passes through an exchanger. On average, they save homeowners around $80 annually and are about 22% more efficient than regular water heaters. Due to evolving technology, even regular water heaters that are available on the market nowadays are more efficient than heaters that were sold just a few years ago.
Enjoy Hot Water on Demand: Hot water circulation pumps deliver heated water to plumbing fixtures in just a few seconds. They can be installed for use with either tankless or tank-based system. You will no longer have to run the sink or shower for several minutes to wait for hot water, so you will significantly cut down on water usage. Additionally, hot water doesn’t sit in the pipes waiting to be used, so you can get maximum usage out of every drop of hot water. Homeowners save money and water when using recirculation pumps.
Insulate Your Pipes: Pipes and water heaters are usually installed in the basement of a home, which can lead to freezing pipes in the winter time. It also takes longer for water to heat up, and water can lose heat on its way through the pipes to the fixtures in the home. Insulating your pipes with wraps will help prevent heat loss, cutting down on water and energy usage.
Install Low-Flow Features: Low-flow features reduce the flow of water at the plumbing fixture to reduce water usage. Fixtures are easy to install, inexpensive, and can be retrofitted to existing components. Simple faucet aerators can be screwed into faucets in the kitchen and bath, and low-flow showerheads replace existing ones and have several settings. If you’re questioning how much of a difference the above green plumbing practices can truly make, consider this: if the only change you make is to install low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators…you’ll reduce your water use by up to 50%. That isn’t just less water, but also less electricity as you won’t be paying to heat that water either.
Eco Fixtures: Eco-friendly fixtures are an important part of any green-plumbing strategy as they significantly reduce your home’s water usage. As an added bonus, it will also save you money on your yearly water bill. These fixtures are not only effective but affordable as they can be purchased. You can purchase eco-friendly fixtures at your favorite home improvement store or one of our plumbers can install the fixtures for you.
Invest in Energy-Efficient Appliances: Energy efficient appliances do more than saving on electric or gas usage - they can also cut down on water usage as well. Installing efficient washers, dishwashers, and toilets will significantly reduce the amount of water the appliance uses. These appliances are designed to get the most out of every bit of water that passes through them, saving you water and money. Efficient toilets usually have smaller tanks which require less water for each flush, and washers use up to 25% less energy and 40% less water. Dishwashers pass water through instantly heated coils, so they don’t use as much water and energy heating up. So, they will save you money on both your electricity and water bills while adding value to your home when it comes times to sell.
Recycle your Materials: Whenever you’re updating appliances or doing other plumbing work—recycle the materials when you’re done! You can recycle everything, from pipes to fixtures.
Above all, one of the easiest and best things you can do as a homeowner is to always check your pipes for leaks. Even minor leaks can waste a lot of money and water over the course of the year, so be sure to monitor your water meter for any unaccounted for usage, or have one of our professional plumbers assess your pipes. Call 731-668-7492 to have one of our plumbers inspect your pipes and show how you can go green.