According to the EPA's WaterSense program, the average American family uses about 300 gallons of water a day. That's a significant amount of water. Wouldn't you like to do your part to optimize the plumbing system in your Richmond, Virginia, home to use less water and save money on utilities in the process? Here are some efficient products that will help you do this.
If your home has an older tank water heater, consider upgrading to a tankless heater system. A tankless heater only uses energy to heat water on demand in place of storing large reserves of hot water on an ongoing basis. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that homes using tankless water heaters for up to 41 gallons of hot water a day will be 24–34 percent more energy-efficient than those using conventional tank heaters. Energy Star estimates a typical family will save about $100 a year with an Energy Star qualified tankless heater.
The upfront cost of a tankless water heater is expensive, so shopping for a good price is key. However, the unit's longevity is greater than the tank counterpart's, 20 or more years versus 10–15. Also worth noting, tankless heaters can have cold shower moments if too many hot-water faucets are running at the same time.
One simple way to cut down water usage is to change your water faucets over to more efficient fixtures. Older faucets have a water flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm). The new EPA WaterSense standard is 1.5 gpm. If you prefer not to replace your existing fixture, you can add an inexpensive water-saving aerator or flow restrictor.
Similar to reducing faucet water flow, you can save water and energy by upgrading your shower heads. The EPA WaterSense standard for shower heads is to stay below 2.0 gpm. You can find high-efficiency, ultra-low-flow shower heads capable of exerting high-pressure water streams.
For more information on how Gilman Heating, Cooling & Plumbing can help optimize your plumbing system, call us today: (804) 277-4241.
Image provided by Shutterstock
When it comes time to shop around Richmond, Virginia, for your next kitchen or household appliance, take a look at the latest wave of smart appliances. This advanced technology is equipped with energy-saving sensors that provide automation; some can even alert your mobile phone when a task is complete.
If you happen to live along a smart grid, you can make use of smart grid-enabled appliances, which provide energy-consumption feedback to utility companies. This two-way communication enables the appliances to adjust runtimes and scheduling to operate when the grid is at lower demand. This helps lower energy costs and reduces high demand on energy grids, which, in extreme situations, can lead to brownouts.
New laundry washers are equipped with water load sensing technology. These smart washing machines will add only the amount of water that is needed to efficiently wash your laundry load.
Smart storage tank hot water heaters now exist with electronic thermostats that learn from household behavior. This ability allows the appliance to heat the water closer to an on-demand basis, and not keeping it hot all the time. These heaters also come smart grid-enabled.
You can now find dishwashers with built-in soil sensors. These machines measure the amount of food particles contained in a dirty load and will adjust the amount of water, the water pressure, and the cycle time. Not only does this smart appliance save on water usage, but it also has a direct impact on energy usage.
Look for Energy Star products. They are not exclusive to advanced technology, but the role the organization plays in energy efficiency is crucial. Always look for its ratings on appliances as you shop, and use them as a guideline in making your purchasing decision.
For information on installing these smart appliances in your home, contact Gilman Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today at (804) 277-4241.
Image provided by Shutterstock