Keeping a green home means keeping an efficient home, one that uses the minimal amount of energy, saving money and saving the planet. In the case of plumbing, greenness and energy efficiency has to do mostly with conserving water. There are several easy tips you can follow to make sure your plumbing is as efficient as it can possibly be.
1. Take care of those leaky faucets.
If those bathroom and kitchen faucets keep dripping after you’ve turned them off, you’ll want to get that fixed. Just one leaky faucet in a home can waste more than 20 gallons every day. That’s a lot of water and money. The sooner you get that taken care of, the sooner you can start saving.
2. Update your shower heads.
In the last 20 years, technology has focused on finding new ways to conserve energy. A modern shower head can cut water usage by 40% or more. If your shower hasn’t been renovated since the 1990s, it’s time for you to do some shopping and find a more efficient option.
3. Insulate your pipes.
When pipes carry hot water to your plumbing fixtures, often that heat can get lost along the way. Pipe insulation helps to lower the heat loss. The water getting to you at the end of the line will be hotter, so you can change water heater temperature to 120 or lower and save some money.
4. Install low-flow faucets.
With low-flow faucets and aerators, you can reduce the flow of the faucets without reducing the water pressure. Install one of these in your home and the savings will add up. Assuming regular water usage, you can save up to 13,000 gallons of water every year.
5. Get a more energy-efficient toilet.
While you’re replacing the plumbing fixtures around the house, don’t forget about the toilets. One of the most energy-efficient options for toilets is the dual-flush fixture. The dual-flush allows you to choose between two flush types: a more powerful one that functions as a standard flush today and one that uses less water to clear liquid waste.
6. Get your home inspected for hidden plumbing problems.
Not all plumbing problems are instantly noticeable. If there are hidden leaks, that adds up. Bring in a plumber to check your system for anything you might be missing. If they find something, getting it fixed could significantly bring down your water bill.
7. Consider a tankless water heater.
Typical water heaters constantly heat water all the time and then deliver what you need to you. A tankless water heat only heats the water you use, thus saving energy, water, and the money you’d spend on both of those things.
8. Only wash full loads of laundry.
Washing two separate half-loads of laundry uses twice as much laundry as washing them all together at once. Though sometimes clothing needs to be washed in an emergency and you can’t wait for a full load, do your best to wash full loads only, saving water and energy.
9. Use environment-friendly drain cleaners.
It may seem like the drain cleaner you use doesn’t matter, but chemically infused drain cleaners can ultimately damage your pipes, leading to leaks or breaks. Take care of your pipes and the environment at the same time by using drain cleaners like BioChoiceES.
10. Shower, don’t bathe.
Quick showers use less water than baths, especially if you’ve had a modern shower head installed as was mentioned earlier. As relaxing as a long bath can be, save those for the days when you really need it and shower whenever you can.
by Rachel Kopp
May 2nd, 2013