Earth Day Tips to Make Plumbing More Green
When Earth Day rolls around every year, people get constantly bombarded with tips about reducing their carbon footprint and being green. Massive lists of suggestions focus on things like planting trees and switching to LEDs, most of which everybody has already done.
For those looking to make some serious changes in their home’s environmental impact, plumbing is a great place to start. Changes made in the plumbing accomplish goals like:
- Saving water and money
- Reducing overall carbon footprint
- Reducing human waste in waterways
Here are some suggestions from local plumbers to make homes more eco-conscious.
Three great places to start for reducing water usage around the home are:
- Water-Saving Toilets: Low flow toilets or dual flush toilets use up to 60% less water per flush. The average family could save as much as 13,000 gallons of water per year simply by upgrading to these models of toilets.
- Smart Washing Machines: Smart washing machines can save around six gallons of water per load. They also use 25% less electricity than standard models.
- Dishwashers: An old argument against dishwashers is that they waste water. However, new models average around six gallons of water per cycle. Some models boast that they only use four gallons.
Look for Energy-Efficient Appliances
There is a lot of overlap between plumbing and energy use. Choosing the right utility for appliances, between electricity or natural gas, is a great place to start, but there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. For example, water heaters run more efficiently with natural gas, especially an energy-efficient model. Natural gas is much more efficient for customers who choose tankless water heaters.
However, suppose the home is already using an electric model. In that case, the most eco-friendly option is probably to stay with the same utility since the carbon footprint of the construction necessary to make the change is so great.
Choose the Right Materials
For homes that are being built or need a repiping, homeowners have a great opportunity to make intentional choices about the materials used in their homes. In most situations, it boils down to the choice between copper and PEX, and sometimes the answer is both.
Copper has a huge carbon footprint upfront because the minerals are strip-mined, and fossil fuels are used for refining. However, copper pipes have a long life expectancy and are recyclable at the end of their useful life. Copper conducts heat better than PEX, so it is generally recommended for hot water lines at least.
PEX has a lower carbon footprint during manufacturing and a long life expectancy. It is very easy to retrofit and uses less intensive techniques to install. It can be wrapped in insulation for added efficiency.
PlumbCrazy has served its neighbors in Abingdon and Bel Air, MD, for over 30 years. They provide top-notch customer service, personalized solutions, and emergency plumbing service. Call them today for plumbing services in Abingdon, MD.