Green Plumbing

Green Plumbing to Reduce Home Energy Use

So, just what can you do to start saving money, and the environment, when it comes to the plumbing in your home? Here’s a list of ideas to get your gears turning, starting with these suggestions for how to save some green by going green in the plumbing department.

  • Insulate Pipes—Uninsulated pipes, especially in exterior walls, are responsible for a significant amount of heat loss as water travels from your hot water heater to the faucet. Insulating your pipes helps to eliminate this problem, and can cut standby energy loss at your hot water heater as well, saving you even more on your utility bills.

  • Remove Plumbing from Exterior Walls—If you can, avoid running your home’s plumbing through outside walls. By running pipes through conditioned spaces instead, you’ll reduce unnecessary heat loss caused by close proximity to cold outdoor temperatures.

  • Install an On-Demand Hot Water Circulation Pump—These pumps send hot water to your fixtures in a matter of seconds, saving you money on two fronts. For starters, you won’t lose heat as hot water unnecessarily sits unused in the pipes, and since you won’t have to run water at the faucet while you wait for hot water to arrive, you’ll reduce your water usage, as well.

  • Install a New Hot Water Heater—Hot water heating can account for as much as 15 percent of your total home energy use. Replacing an older unit with a new, high-efficiency one can have a big impact when it comes to reducing your home heating costs.

Green Plumbing for a Healthier Home

Green remodeling places just as much emphasis on creating healthier homes as it does on improving energy efficiency— and home plumbing is no exception. Here’s a list of suggestions of things you can do to make sure the water in your home is as clean and healthy as possible.

  • Investigate Your Water Supply—For starters, get a copy of your municipal water quality report, or have your water independently tested to identify if there are any problems you need to focus on. Since different water filtration and purification systems target different water quality issues, it’s vital that you know what you’re dealing with before you move forward.

  • Install Chlorine Filters on Showerheads—Seeing as how chlorine is absorbed six times faster through the skin than through the digestive system, it’s not surprising to hear chlorine sensitivity is a serious problem for many people. Special chlorine filters installed in your showerhead can reduce chlorine levels significantly.

  • Install a Whole House Water Filtration System—Whole house filtration systems can eliminate the presence of chemicals, particulates, and micro organisms in your water. That makes for healthier water for you and yours, and helps to extend the life of hot water heaters and plumbing fixtures in areas that have high sediment levels in the water supply.

  • Install Activated Carbon Filters or Reverse Osmosis Systems—If you’re particularly concerned with poor water quality and drinking water, consider introducing one of these water purification strategies into your home. Activated carbon filters are installed on faucets and shower heads to absorb pollutants, while reverse osmosis filtration systems are generally installed at individual sinks to provide purified water for drinking, cooking, or brushing teeth.