Is your plumbing more than ten years old? Perhaps it is time to consider an upgrade. Eco-friendly plumbing upgrades add instant value to a home while helping to save money. Below are six common plumbing improvements that are both environmentally friendly and cost-effective.
- Faucets. Installing new faucets in the kitchen and bathroom is a quick and easy way to give the home a modern look. Exchange the outdated chrome finishes for nickel, copper or brass. Try coordinating fixtures throughout the home so they have a unified feel. Adding an aerator to these fixtures can help save both water and money; aerators increase water pressure by adding air to water flow while decreasing the amount of water used.
- Shower heads. Installing low-flow shower heads to match your new faucets will help complete the innovative fixture package. These showerheads can be customized to allow for different rates of water pressure and flow. They also significantly reduce the amount of water consumed using the same principle as an aerator.
- Toilets. Older toilets require almost five gallons of water when flushing. This means we flush countless amounts of water down the toilet each day! While slightly newer toilets need around 3 gallons of water, the newest eco-friendly versions do the job using only 1.5. This translates into extreme money and water saving potential.
- Tankless hot water heaters. Standard hot water heaters hold around 40 gallons of water that is continuously warmed. A significant amount of energy is wasted warming water even when it is not being used. Tankless hot water heaters warm water on demand, saving an incredible amount of energy while ensuring you never run out of hot water.
- Appliances. Appliances are the most visible feature of a plumbing system. Updating appliances to beautiful, eco-friendly versions will add instant, significant value to any home. The newest appliances require only a small amount of water while offering superior functionality. Consider switching out the dishwasher, refrigerator and washing machine for new and improved models. This small, upfront investment will pay off well in the long-term.
- Pipes. The pipes running through most homes are made mainly of steel, cast iron, or in some cases, lead. Upgrading these materials to the new PEX system guarantees a more energy efficient system with less chance of breaks, cracks and ruptures. Consider insulating the current pipes, especially those running to a hot water heater, if a full makeover sounds too intense. This insulation will help keep water warm as it travels throughout the home.
Aaron Gaynor, the 2013 Columbus, Ohio Green Plumber of the Year winner is the founder of Eco Plumbers and the first Licensed Green Plumber in the state of Ohio. Since 2007, Eco Plumbers has helped homeowners and the local community by proposing eco-friendly solutions and WaterSense efficiency products that can save energy and hundreds of gallons of water a year.
Upgrade to Eco-Friendly Plumbing (and Increase the Value of Your Home)