In the recent period, sustainability quickly rose to become one of the main requirements in residential circles, and It’s not that hard to see why. Putting aside that making your home eco-friendly helps protect the environment which is something we should all strive towards; sustainable homes are far easier to maintain and much more efficient.
However, when thinking about these topics most homeowners tend to focus too heavily on electrical energy which, as important as it is, makes only a piece of the puzzle we call sustainable living.
Unfortunately, that means other important areas like water efficiency often end up neglected. Well, we are here to right these wrongs. Here are a couple of upgrades that will help you to make your home greener and preserve a lot of water along the way.
Get yourself a tankless water heater
This simple move will open the doors to numerous benefits. First and foremost, they are much smaller and need to handle lower amounts of water which makes them more water as well as space efficient. Second, unlike their bigger cousins, they do provide an endless supply of hot water when you need it the most.
Third, heating up the smaller amounts of water you are using at the moment uses up to 50% less energy than heating the entire tank. Finally, this clean heating system lowers the risk of leaks and water damage, both of which have a huge impact on your health, monthly budget, and the environment.
Install low-flow faucets, toilets, and showerheads
Upgrading the fixtures was always considered to be one of the easiest ways to easily upgrade the look of the room and get yourself a perfect toilet. While you are doing that, you also have an opportunity to drastically cut the amount of water you are flushing into oblivion so there’s that.
Speaking in broad terms, low-flow bathroom fixtures are capable of saving the average household 1000 gallons of water on an annual basis. Throw into account the toilets that are probably the biggest offenders in this regard and you will bump these numbers even further and save approximately 0.5 gallons with each new flush.
Upgrade your pipe network
Pipe networks tend to sustain a lot of damage as time goes by. Freezing temperatures, high water pressure, and other similar factors all take a bite out of the pipes causing leaks, expensive repairs, and even energy wasted on inefficient heating. Hiring professional pipe relining services to inspect your network and make necessary repairs puts all these worries to rest in a single stroke.
Furthermore, since pipes are repaired from the inside there is no need for tearing down the walls, digging new network points, and other taxing works, which, in itself, goes a long way in reducing the impact on your surroundings.
Use the grey water recycling system
Keeping your lawn sufficiently watered requires a lot of water, especially if you have a spacious yard. This problem can be made considerably easier if you simply use grey water instead. If you are not familiar with the term, grey water represents the water used by your household that still hasn’t mixed with sewage (e.g., wastewater from washing machines or dishwashers).
This water is perfectly good for countless household chores like the one we have mentioned above. And you only need to invest some money into large storage units and filtration systems that will clean the water from pollutants.
Install steam shower
Steam showers are super cool and they lend your house that luxurious spa vibes, so if you want something that will make your bathroom pop up more, this neat upgrade should definitely make your wish list. But, putting aside this ‘cool’ factor, steam showers use only two gallons of water over 30 minutes, so if you like to take long hot showers, this is the only way to indulge yourself without wasting excessive amounts of water.
Also, much like tankless water heaters, steam showers are heating only the water you are using. Using both these upgrades for the water system will save you a lot of energy as well.
Consider using pipe insulation
Take this into even more serious consideration if you are living in a large house and using only one heating unit. Essentially, the traditional pipes we have in our homes (especially in older houses) have very poor insulation properties.
That is why, when it is freezing outside and you want to run hot water from the facet, you usually need to wait for a couple of seconds before the hot water finally starts coming out. This may seem negligible but, take into consideration how many times you do that over the course of a year and you will get massive wastes that can be easily avoided by using insulation.
So, there you have it – the six essential upgrades that will completely overhaul your old plumbing system and make it far more efficient, streamlined, and eco-friendly. Do your best to cover as many of these mentions as you can.
Water is one of the most valuable resources we have on the planet, and as time goes by its scarcity is only going to become more evident. Stay ahead of the curve and lower your consumption to some reasonable level.
By Mike Johnston