While most people enjoy living environmentally conscious lifestyles, not all homeowners know about all of the environmentally friendly plumbing fixtures available today. Many of these fixtures are relatively affordable and help conserve water, energy, or both to not only help protect the environment but also potentially lower your home water and energy bills.
Read on to learn about three environmentally friendly plumbing upgrades every homeowner should consider.
1. Gray Water Recycling System
If you have extensive landscaping outside of your home, then your water bills may be sky-high. One way you can reduce your home water consumption while maintaining your current lawn watering schedule is by installing a gray water recycling system in your home.
Gray water is fresh water that has been gently used in your home, yet has not come into contact with raw sewage. Examples of gray water include water that your family has been used to shower or wash hands or water that was used to clean a load of laundry in your washing machine.
Residential gray water recycling systems can vary greatly in design, but all capture the gray water in your home, filter it to remove some contaminants and debris, and then send it to a storage tank until you are ready to use it to water your lawn. Speak to a licensed plumber about your gray water recycling system options and what type of system may be best for your home.
2. Solar-Powered Water Heater
About 17 percent of the energy used in the average home is used to heat the family’s hot water, and the average electric tank-style water heater costs about $438 each year to run. If you have a large family, your hot water heater may cost even more to run each year. You can reduce or even eliminate the expense of heating your home’s hot water by replacing your traditional water heater with a solar-powered version.
All solar-powered water heaters heat your home’s water with energy from the sun, although they can vary greatly in design. However, most solar-powered water heaters can be classified as either direct or indirect systems.
Direct systems circulate water through special tubes called solar collectors where the sun heats the water, then send the hot water into a storage tank where it remains until it is sent to the hot water taps of your home. This system works well in warmer climates.
Indirect systems are equipped with solar collector tubes that contain a special fluid called a heat transfer liquid. The sun heats the liquid inside of these tubes, then these heated tubes heat the water in your home’s hot water tank. This system type is best for homes in cold climates.
3. Dual-Flush or High-Efficiency Toilet
While toilets produced after the Energy Policy Act was passed in the early 1990s are required by federal law to use 1.6 gallons of water or less per flush, you may not realize that newer toilet designs waste even less water. California’s new mandatory standards state that you can’t use more than 1.28 gallons per flush. Two newer toilet types that reduce water waste even further include high efficiency and dual-flush toilets.
High-efficiency toilets use just 1.28 gallons of water or less per flush. While this may be just .32 gallons of water less than a traditional low-flow toilet, the water savings with each flush quickly add up to many gallons of saved water each and every week.
Dual-flush toilets, on the other hand, use about 1.28 gallons of water to flush solid waste and just 1 gallon, or less, of water to flush liquid waste. Depending on your toilet usage, you could potentially preserve even more water after installing this toilet type.
You should consider these three environmentally friendly plumbing upgrades if you would like to conserve water and energy to help protect the environment and potentially save a few dollars on your water and energy bills. Contact the plumbing experts at Valley Plumbing for all of your plumbing needs, such as one or more of these plumbing upgrades, today.