Many homeowners know that remodeling a kitchen or a bathroom can increase the overall value of your home, yielding a respectable return on investment should you choose to sell. However, there are other ways that you can save money by upgrading too. Energy-efficient plumbing can quickly pay for themselves long term through saved utility bills.
Dual flush toilet
Upgrading to a toilet that uses less water per flush is one of the best ways you can decrease your utility bill. Toilets are the biggest culprit of water waste, using about 30% of a household’s total water consumption. If your toilet was made before 1992, it’s likely that it uses at least 3 gallons per flush. Following the 1992 federal restrictions, most toilets made after that year use 1.6 gallons for each flush.
The latest and greatest development in energy-efficient toilets involves dual flush water saving methods, meaning there are two buttons: a 0.8-gallon flush and a 1.28-gallon flush. That way, you only use as little water as you need.
If you suspect your toilet is leaking or running constantly, that’s another indicator that you need to upgrade your porcelain throne. If you add some food dye to the bowl and it lightens or clears after some time, that’s a strong sign your toilet is constantly running water through it when it’s not in use.
Low Flow Fixtures
Investing in low-flow faucets and showerheads will naturally decrease the amount of water you use without any other lifestyle changes. Plus, you don’t have to sacrifice that magical water pressure in order to get a more energy-efficient shower head. Before 1990, the flow rate of a showerhead was around three to four gallons per minute, but technological advancements and great design allow manufacturers to keep the water pressure high while lowering the water flow to as low as one gallon per minute.
If you can’t afford to install new water fixtures, adding a faucet aerator over the sink spout can reduce water use while keeping water pressure high. Basically, an aerator is a screen that adds air to the flow. If added to the faucets throughout your home, this simple and affordable piece can save you a significant amount on your monthly utility bills.
Switch to a Tankless Water Heater
As we’ve mentioned before, a tankless water heater is much better for your energy bill than a tank. (We’ve done the math, and tankless will usually pay for itself in energy savings). A tanked water heater will radiate heat, and energy is used to constantly keep the water warm. With a tankless water heater, hot water is still on demand, but you aren’t keeping water constantly warm. In general, if you want plumbing upgrades that keep energy costs low,
If you can’t afford to upgrade your water heater, there are a couple of quick solutions to reduce your energy usage slightly. Start by setting the water temperature lower by a few degrees, so your water heater isn’t working harder than necessary. You’ll need to experiment with this, as you’ll need water hot enough to clean dishes and clothing, but this can ultimately save you money as water can be stored at a lower temperature. Additionally, you can buy insulation to wrap around your water heater, so less heat escapes, and less energy is used to maintain the temperature.
Do you have questions about upgrading your plumbing appliances? If you’re ready for home improvement and would like to schedule a free in-home consult, and receive a customized quote, get in touch with us today.