Going green is on the minds of many homeowners today who are looking for ways to make their homes more environmentally friendly and sustainable. One area that is often overlooked is plumbing. The plumbing in your home uses a significant amount of water and energy. Old, inefficient plumbing fixtures and appliances negatively impact your utility bills and carbon footprint. Fortunately, there are many eco-friendly plumbing solutions that your home’s water system greener. Taking a green approach to your plumbing helps conserve water, reduces energy consumption, and lowers your environmental impact.
- The easiest way to start greening your plumbing is by installing water-efficient fixtures. Replacing old, conventional toilets, faucets, and showerheads with low-flow versions reduces indoor water usage. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that low-flow fixtures conserve more than 30 gallons of water per person, per day. M
- For toilets, look for high-efficiency models that use 1.28 gallons per flush or less. Dual-flush toilets with separate buttons for liquid and solid waste are another great water-saving option. Low-flow faucets and aerators restrict water flow to 1.5 gallons per minute or less without sacrificing performance. For showers, low-flow showerheads deliver a satisfying spray while using no more than 2.0 gallons per minute.
- When shopping for new fixtures, look for WaterSense-labeled models. WaterSense, sponsored by the EPA, certifies high-performing, water-efficient plumbing products that reduce water usage by 20% or more. Installing WaterSense fixtures is an easy way to save water and lower your monthly water and sewer bills.
- To fixtures, upgrading to water-efficient appliances is another eco-friendly plumber Sydney. Conventional dishwashers, washing machines, and hot water heaters use exorbitant amounts of water. Newer, sustainable models dramatically cut water and energy consumption.
- Look for Energy Star-certified dishwashers and washing machines that use advanced technology to provide top-notch cleaning with minimal water usage. Choose an ENERGY STAR dishwasher that uses 3.5 gallons or less per cycle. For clothes washers, look for horizontal axis or front-loading, high-efficiency machines that use between 15-30 gallons per load.
- For hot water heating, tankless on-demand water heaters are an excellent green option. Tankless heaters only heat water as needed, while traditional tank heaters constantly keep a reservoir hot. This on-demand technology saves hundreds of gallons of water each month.
Installing a greywater system is a bold, innovative way to conserve water in your home. Greywater is gently used water from bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines. With a greywater setup, this wastewater is captured, treated, and reused for subsurface irrigation. Greywater systems divert thousands of gallons from the sewage system, reducing strain and saving fresh potable water. There are two main types of residential greywater systems: branched drain and dedicated plumbing. A branched drain configuration filters and redirects greywater through your existing drainage pipes. Dedicated plumbing systems have separate piping and components just for collecting greywater. This involves more re-plumbing but optimizes water reuse.
The upfront cost of installing a greywater system ranges from $2,000 to $10,000 on average. However, most greywater setups pay for themselves in 5 years or less through substantial reductions in sewer charges and water bills. Plus, reusing greywater enables you to shrink your environmental footprint and use your home’s wastewater beneficially.