7 Must-Have Plumbing Features for a Greener Home

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7 Must-Have Plumbing Features for a Greener Home

Plumbing fixtures and appliances in your home use various quantities of water. If you want to be more energy-efficient, then there are various options that can be used to obtain a greener home.

Faucets

The faucets in the kitchen and bathroom of your home account for up to 15 percent or more of the total water use each year. This means that water is wasted when it is allowed to run down the drain. You can be washing your hands or brushing your teeth in the morning. One way to conserve water is to have all the faucets replaced with a WaterSense labeled sink faucet. A WaterSense faucet reduces the volume of water by up to 30 percent or more without any noticeable drop in water pressure.

Aerators

The reduction of water from a kitchen or bathroom faucet can be achieved by using faucet aerators that are designed to be energy-efficient. Aerators allow the air and water from a faucet to mix. This result is a reduction in the amount of water without a decrease in water pressure. Installing faucet aerators is the easiest way to use less water in a kitchen or bathroom. Typical aerators for kitchen faucets are rated for 2.2 gallons per minute. Aerators for bathroom faucets are rated up to 1 gallon per minute. These can be found at any home improvement store or plumbing supply store.

Showerhead

Daily showers by homeowners account for up to 17 percent or their yearly water usage. You are able to lower the amount of water being used when showering by installing a low-flow showerhead. If you use a low-flow showerhead, then a water savings of 25 to 60 percent can be achieved. These newer fixtures have a flow rate no more than 2.5 gallons per minute. Older showerheads can have a flow rate that is up to 5.5 gallons per minute.

Toilets

The toilet found in all residential homes account of up to 30 percent of total water use each year. These fixtures also are the biggest source of wasted water in a home. Toilets that were made prior to 1992 are not designed to be water-efficient. They use between 3.5 and 5 gallons of water per flush. You are able to decrease water usage by replacing older toilets with a high-efficiency toilet or a dual-flush toilet.

Water Heater

Replacing a conventional water heater in your home with a tankless water heater can cut 30 percent off of your utility bill each month. This unit accounts for up to 25 percent a home’s energy usage. Installing a new energy-efficient water heater will significantly lower the amount of energy and water being used. If you choose to install a tankless hot water heater, then extra water does not need to be stored and heated in a tank.

Washing Machine

A typical family will wash up to 300 loads of laundry per year. This is a lot of water when a home uses a regular washing machine. Switching to a high-efficiency washer will cut energy use by about 20 percent and use up to 35 percent less water. A typical energy-efficient washing machine will use up to 15 gallons of water for each load of laundry. Homeowners can save up to 27,000 gallons of water during the lifetime of the washing machine.

Dishwasher

Newer energy-efficient dishwashers for the kitchen are more efficient that older models. A dishwasher that was installed prior to 1994 will use up to 10 gallons or more of water for each cycle. Models made today are designed to save you up to 1,300 gallons of water during the life of the appliance.


Greener Ideal is an independent environmental news and lifestyle publication that has been curating content since 2008 to further the green movement. The views expressed by contributing authors are their own and may not reflect those of Greener Ideal.