Posted April 19, 2016 by Gabriel Posternak

How to go green with your plumbing

There are lots of ways to go green with plumbing because there are various stages where you can save water -and the energy needed to carry and heat it-. Upgrade your plumbing following our recommendations to reduce water and energy usage, get a healthier home and protect the environment at the same time!

Facts about water in the house

It takes a significant amount of energy to heat, cool and pressurize water for various daily activities. The California Energy Commission estimates that water-related energy consumption and demand account for up to 19% of all electricity used in California. The average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water per day at home: 26.7% on toilet flushes, 16.8% on showers, 15.7% on faucets, and 13.4% just on leaks. And these 4 major leeches are easily fixable with smart plumbing.


Tips to go green by reducing water usage

The goal of this adjustments is to reduce the water needed to perform the exact same things you already do, with your existing plumbing and accessories.

  • Switch to dual-flush toilets that can reduce up to 60% the annual water usage.
  • Replace old shower heads and faucets with new low flow ones.
  • Check all the plumbing regularly and fix any water leakage as soon as it appears. Also make sure that all faucets and general valves operate fine, opening and closing tightly without effort.
  • Have your irrigation system audited and adjusted. If you have sprinklers irrigation, consider switching to drip irrigation and improve your lawn’s water design.
  • Check the Water Sense™ product search to choose the more efficient certified accessories and fixtures, and apply to rebates and incentives.


Tips to go green by reducing energy usage

You should consider these plumbing improvements to reduce the energy needed to carry, use, cool and heat water.

  • Switch to energy efficient appliances, like clothes and dishwashers.
  • Upgrade your water heating system to an energy efficient version.
  • Consider the installation of tankless water heaters or solar water heaters, even only to supplement your general system and reduce its energy consumption.
  • Check the Energy Star™ website to choose the more efficient certified appliances to reduce energy usage.


Tips to go green by saving energy

These plumbing upgrades add to the general savings of the household.

  • Add aerators and faucet flow reductors to accessories you won’t change.
  • Insulate properly all the pipes. Most of the energy wasting is associated with the effort needed to carry water at a regular temperature. A good insulation will keep hot water steady and prevent the cold water pipes to be heated in summer.
  • Install a water filtration system to purify municipal water and soften the hard water, that damages plumbing and accessories.
  • Use natural methods or call a plumber to unclog sinks and pipes to avoid using highly-contaminant chemical cleaners.
  • Install a Smart Water Meter to grow consciousness about your household water usage and set goals for its reduction.
  • Research about incentive programs for water-saving plumbing upgrades and ask your contractor about them, to see if you would be able to apply. Check Save Our Water for the State of California, Energy Upgrade California, and WaterSense™ from EPA.
  • At last, it’s needless to say that the most important measure to water saving is a mindful change of habits of the people living in the house, so try to be efficient beyond any home improvement ;)

Taking care of the plumbing of your home -from small maintenance to major upgrades- with the environment in mind, have the added bonus of annually savings in utilities. And all green upgrades increases your home value, too. With all the government’s incentives and rebates an eco-friendly plumbing improvement is more attainable than ever. What are you waiting to go green?

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