Plumbing for the most energy-efficient home will require some strategic planning. It doesn’t seem that long ago when we used as much water as we wanted. The fact is, our world has grown significantly. The population in California alone has more than doubled since 1970 to close to 40 million. That means we need to conserve if we are going to have enough resources to go around for the next generation. New energy efficient plumbing technologies are changing the way we live and think. For Californians, I don’t think I will ever take our water for granted ever again. The most recent drought has had most homeowners thinking of water efficiency. Not to mention, we all want to save a few bucks towards our energy costs. So, what does plumbing for the most energy-efficient home look like?
Install A Water Leak Monitor
We’re going to spend as if money is no object. Even at that, I still think having a water-efficient home is attainable. Let’s start by eliminating the leaks in our home. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that 10% of homes in the U.S. have leaks, and the homeowner is not aware of them. New products like Flume Water Monitor and Flo by Moen are just two products that can provide real-time water monitoring. The information is sent to your smartphone. Flume Water Monitor costs $199, and Flo by Moen is $499 plus installation. The product could also save you if you have a water leak that can cause significant damage to your home.
Home energy usage:
Heating & Cooling: 47% of energy use
Water heater: 14% of energy use
Washer and dryer: 13% of energy use
Lighting: 12% of energy use
Refrigerator: 4% of energy use
Electric oven: 3-4% of energy use
TV, DVD, cable box: 3% of energy use
Dishwasher: 2% of energy use
Computer: 1% of energy use
Install A New Energy Efficient Water Heater
Upgrade your water heater. Did you know that your water heater is the second-largest user of energy in your home behind heating and cooling? If you purchase a water heater that has the Energy Star label, you can save as much as 10% over standard models and significantly more over water heaters that are older than eight years old. Additionally, an Energy Star labeled water heater will emit less greenhouse gas and emissions. A family of four could save hundreds of dollars over the lifetime of the product. Another option is an on-demand water heater, also called a tankless water heater that supplies hot water almost instantly. It could save a homeowner as much as $100 a year in energy costs. The claim is a tankless water heater will pay for itself over the lifetime of the product.
Save Big By Installing Low Flow Toilets
Lastly, plumbing for the most energy efficient homes requires removing old leaky toilets and installing new toilets that use less than 1.6 gallons a flush. Better yet, think about this, you can save big by installing a dual flush toilet that has excellent flushing power. One button is pressed for liquid using 1.1 gallons of water, and the other button is for solids using 1.28 gallons per flush. The kicker is, you can purchase the toilets for less than $200. Installing these toilets can save thousands of gallons of water a year, paying for themselves in a short period of time.