Enhancing energy efficiency through upgraded plumbing systems

Energy costs are on the rise, many homeowners are looking for ways to increase the energy efficiency of their homes to save money on utility bills. One area that is often overlooked is the home’s plumbing system. Upgrading to more energy-efficient plumbing fixtures and properly insulating pipes leads to substantial energy savings over time. 

Install low-flow plumbing fixtures

The easiest way to realize energy savings related to plumbing is to install low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets. Older plumbing fixtures use 3-4 times more water than new low-flow models. For example, replacing a 3-gallon per minute showerhead with a 1.5 GPM model saves over 10,000 gallons of water per year for a family of four. That’s a significant amount of energy savings related to water heating. Low-flow toilets use 1.28 gallons per flush compared to older models that used 3.5 to 5 gallons per flush. Installing aerators on bathroom and kitchen faucets further reduces water flow. 

Insulate water pipes

The water pipes reduce heat loss as hot water travels from your water Bondi plumbing specialists heater throughout the home. Pipe insulation is inexpensive, easy to install, and pays for itself in energy savings in less than a year. Focus on insulating pipes closest to the water heater and any pipes in unconditioned spaces like crawl spaces, attics, and basements. Pre-slit foam pipe insulation is available at home improvement stores and can be slipped over existing pipes and secured with tape. Properly insulating pipes could save 10-15% on water heating costs.  

Repair leaks

A little drip may seem insignificant, but even small leaks add up. That’s equivalent to the annual water usage of 11 million homes! Even minor leaks should be dealt with as soon as possible. Check under sinks, listen for running toilets, and inspect fixtures for drips. Fixing leaks quickly will save on wasted water and the energy required heating it.

Install a tankless water heater

Traditional water heaters constantly heat and reheat water, even when not in use. Tankless water heaters only heat water as needed, providing hot water on demand. Because they don’t store heated water, tankless models are generally 5-20% more energy efficient than conventional tank water heaters. Tankless heaters have a higher initial cost but the energy savings a return on your investment in as little as 2 years. They also last longer, with a lifespan of 20 years versus 6-12 years for tank heaters. If your current water heater is due for replacement, consider upgrading to a tankless model.

Choose high-efficiency appliances  

They are replacing water-using appliances like dishwashers and clothes washers; look for ENERGY STAR-rated models. ENERGY STAR appliances have been certified as energy efficient, saving both water and the electricity required to operate them clothes washers with an ENERGY STAR rating use about 25% less energy and 35% less water than standard models. There is also ENERGY STAR dishwasher models that save 230-330 kWh per year compared to non-certified models. 

By Kenneth Sanabria
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