Homeowners are becoming increasingly intentional about the sustainability of the upgrades they make to their homes. This is as true with plumbing as it is with HVAC systems, electrical upgrades, solar panels and more.
We frequently have customers ask us, “How can I make my plumbing environmentally friendly?”
In response to this, here are a few options you might consider as you look to upgrade your plumbing while lowering your home’s overall environmental impact.
Eco-friendly toilets have become a popular feature of bathroom upgrades. They significantly reduce the amount of water used to operate a toilet without compromising functionality.
Green toilets can use as much as 20 percent less energy versus standard toilets. This means the long-term savings can more than cover the extra price you have to pay to install them. If you can’t afford a completely new toilet, you can also benefit from toilet water savers, which can save thousands of gallons of water per year in your existing toilet and plumbing infrastructure.
Eco-friendly faucets exist to save homeowners a significant amount of water, energy and money. You can use low-flow faucets, i.e., faucets that only run when you have your hands in front of a sensor. You may be able to save hundreds of gallons per year on water usage, which will reduce demands on your water heater and reduce both water and energy consumption.
You can maintain a smooth flow of water by investing in drainage pipe cleaning on a regular basis. Many homeowners use products from their local store to clean out their pipes, but many of these products include sodium hydroxide, a toxic chemical that pollutes waterways and the surrounding environment.
Instead of using these caustic products, invest in eco-friendly cleaning products instead, which will greatly reduce the environmental impact.
The type of pipes you have in your home can also influence your water and energy consumption. The right material can reduce leakage, significantly cutting down on water waste in your home.
Look for steel or PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) pipes, as they are durable and hold heat well. Cheaper forms of plastic and copper lack these properties but can be supported with some pipe insulators for a relatively affordable price that helps you save money and energy in the long run. These insulators may be able to cut down on heat loss by as much as 80 percent, depending on the environmental conditions in your home and the type of pipes you have.
The average showerhead sees about 2½ gallons of water flow through it per minute. Low-flow, optimized showerheads cut down on that water flow. While the difference might not be massive in a single shower, the savings will add up rapidly over time, especially if you have a lot of people in your household taking showers.
For more information about eco-friendly plumbing solutions, get in touch with the team at Orchard Plumbing with any questions you have for us. We look forward to helping you make upgrades to your home’s plumbing system!