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Becoming more energy-efficient in your home doesn’t just help reduce your monthly utility bills, but it can also reduce your carbon footprint and even extend the life of your plumbing fixtures and appliances. Many people don’t realize how much money and energy they waste each year. Your professional plumbing service can help you find ways to use less power and water, and even help you select the right EnergyStar appliances for you.
We’ve collected some of the best energy-conservation tips and how plumbing service from your local bluefrog Plumbing + Drain can help you. Bear in mind that energy-efficient plumbing means both less water and less electricity, which over the course of a year can save you a bundle! Energy-efficient upgrades can also save you money come tax time.
Protect Your Pipes
This is pretty basic, but did you know that insulating your pipes and protecting them can help reduce the loss of energy as hot water travels through them? It can also give you more consistent water temperatures, as the hot water doesn’t cool down less on its journey from the boiler to the faucet. Plus, you’ll use less energy turning up the hot water.
Most pipe insulation is foam wrap and can be done by a plumbing service to ensure that it’s properly sealed and that no pipes are missed. For our bluefrog Plumbing + Drain clients in colder areas, this also reduces the occasions of burst pipes.
Make Your Toilets Low-flow or Invest in Dual-Flush Conversion
Low-flush toilets use fewer gallons of water with each flush – for comparison, normal flushes use up to 8 gallons. And, toilet use can account for up to a third of your home’s water use. For our customers in water-scarce areas, or those who sometimes have droughts, having a plumbing service change the water your commodes use can be substantial. If you change to a low-flush toilet you can usually have a flush that uses between 1.3 and 1.6 gallons – that’s quite a savings over time!
Another option, especially for older homes where toilets use the most water, is to upgrade to a dual-flush model. These have a low power option for liquid waste and a second option that provides full flushing power for solid waste. Many of our customers prefer having the more powerful option if you need it, and your plumbing service can help you determine which kind of toilet will work best with your existing pipes.
Upgrade Your Boiler or Water Heater
The water heater can be one of the biggest energy drains in your home, from inefficient heating to small leaks that wastewater and cause your water heater’s tank to wear down over time. Not to mention, broken boilers can be one of the most damaging in the house and can even take out walls! Choosing a high-efficiency boiler has a heating valve and are created to condense water vapor in the exhaust gasses of the appliance, recovering that latent heat. This means that the demands for “new” power from the heating element are less, saving you money and electricity. Plus, there’s an incentive to purchase many of these models have a state and federal tax break for the year you purchase them.
Another option for a more efficient water heater is the tankless version. Instead of a large tank of hot water, tankless water heaters heat the water as it comes into the home, giving you almost unlimited hot water on demand. Not to mention, not having a water tank under pressure as part of the unit is considerably safer.
Tankless water heaters last longer than the traditional counterparts, 20 to 25 years as compared to 10 to 15. That, plus the fact that they use less natural gas, makes them a much more energy efficient part of your plumbing. However, some older homes may not be able to be retrofitted for these. It’s best to check with your plumbing service to explore your options.
Use Low-flow Shower Heads
Showerheads are rated according to their flow, which is calculated by the number of gallons that they deliver each minute. Higher water pressure from the home’s pipes means a greater volume of water being forced out, and thus a higher flow.
Low-flow showerheads aren’t to be confused with lower water pressure. In fact, many homeowners have a personal preference for water pressure that they generally do not wish to change. Instead, your plumbing service can direct you to showerheads that use less water but maintain the same water pressure that you’re used to.
There are a couple of different options. First are aerating shower heads which mix air into the water to deliver the same force but use less water. The second is non-aerating showerheads, which use pluses to maintain a strong stream and constant temperature but use less water overall. Both versions use less water and are considered “green” – both for the environment and for your wallet!
Schedule Regular Inspections
Preventative maintenance by a reliable plumbing service and regular inspections of your home can help you find places where leaks are wasting water or where your fixtures or appliances are using more energy than they should. At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, we strongly recommend that you have annual inspections of your homes entire plumbing system, from the point that it joins the city water main and throughout your home.
This can also help us find places where a small repair can prevent an emergency or a costly repair down the line. And preventative maintenance can help reduce the amount of energy and water you’re wasting with inefficient plumbing.
Call bluefrog Plumbing + Drain Today!
Our plumbing service is comprehensive, and we handle repairs, upgrades and remodels, and even emergency plumbing service. bluefrog Plumbing + Drain can help you find ways to make your home and plumbing are energy efficient. Give us a call or visit us online – we can’t wait to hop to work for you!