Energy efficiency has big benefits for homeowners in the Chicagoland area.
One benefit is to live in a more eco-friendly way. Eco-friendly is about living in a more sustainable way by using more energy-efficient methods, such as with your plumbing and HVAC. In fact, when it comes to your plumbing and HVAC, what may have been installed previously in your home may not have been energy efficient. There are also ways to eat and consume more eco-friendly products. In honor of Earth Month, we felt it was a great time to share 4 eco-friendly and energy-efficient methods.
Eco-Friendly Household Products
What if there was an app that could help you find safe, healthy, green, and ethical products with product reviews based on scientific research and ratings? Good news, there is! GoodGuide’s scientists’ rate products on a zero to 10 scale for their health, environmental impact, and social impact. The ingredients, health impacts, and certifications contribute to the health rating.
Low-Flow & Dual-Flush Toilets
Low-flow toilets perform just as well as traditional toilets but are 20% more energy efficient. A new standard toilet uses about 1.6 gallons per flush, not to mention older toilets that can use as much as 8 gallons per flush. A low-flow uses as little as 1.3 gallons.
A dual flush toilet allows you to press one button for a low power flush that is sufficient for liquid waste and another button the provides a full flush to rid the bowl of solid waste. Since most flushes (3 ½ out of 5 average daily flushes) are for liquid waste, this can be a big difference.
As with low-flow toilets, the financial impact of the switch is not huge, however, a dual flush toilet conversion kit will only cost you as little as $22, so you will quickly experience a return on your investment.
Low-Flow Shower Heads
Showerheads are measured by flow (i.e. the number of gallons they deliver per minute [gpm]). Water pressure affects flow, measured in pounds per square inch (psi). The greater the pressure pushing water through pipes and showerheads, the greater the volume of water forced out.
The trick will low flow showerheads is to use less water but maintain water pressure. If you can do this, you will use less water in the same length shower and maintain the water pressure needed to say wash shampoo out of your hair for instance.
There are two ways to do this. Aerating showerheads mix air into the water in order to maintain constant pressure while using less water. Non-aerating showerheads use pulses to keep the stream strong while maintaining a constant temperature. Either of these reduces water consumption, making the shower more green friendly and the bill more wallet-friendly.
Tankless Water Heater
There are many benefits to a tankless water heater. Our blog post back in February covered the signs you might see if you’re in need of a new water heater. When considering a new tankless water heater, there are two eco-friendly aspects to consider. First, the units are longer lasting (20-25 years compared to as little as 5-7 from traditional tanks) and smaller so they fill up landfills less. Secondly, tankless units use less natural gas. This also allows for some savings by homeowners.
The more relevant direct benefit to homeowners is the unlimited hot water, which can be a real luxury during the colder months here in the Chicagoland area! Hobson Heating and Plumbing is here to help if you’re considering energy-efficient plumbing, HVAC improvements in your home, or repair service 24x7x365. Contact us today!