Environmentally Friendly Plumbing Fixtures
July 02, 2010
Make Your Home a Greener Place with Environmentally Friendly Plumbing Fixtures
Do you want to make your home a greener place? If you answered “yes,” then you should consider installing environmentally friendly plumbing fixtures in your home. Not only will they save on water and energy, but they will also save you money on your utility bills. Going green saves green, so consider installing the following plumbing fixtures in your home today.
Tankless Hot Water Heating Systems
Installing a tankless water heater is a great step toward making your home more environmentally friendly. Tank water heaters present quite a few drawbacks for consumers who want to slash their electricity bills: Tank water heaters must operate 24 hours a day to maintain a set temperature range, and they can supply hot water only for very short periods of time, which means that back-to-back showers, and even full, steamy baths, are usually out of the question. And their inefficiency and inadequacy is met with a third drawback -- a short lifespan. Average life expectancy of a tank water heater runs from eight to ten years.
Tankless hot water heating systems, on the other hand, heat water directly and thus eliminate the need for a storage tank. This makes the tankless hot water heaters more energy efficient because they avoid the standby heat losses associated with conventional storage water heaters. Tankless hot water heaters only heat water when it’s required. This reduces energy consumption by ten to 15 percent and translates into considerable savings on your electricity bill.
After furnaces and air conditioners, water heaters are the third largest consumer of energy in the home. It makes sense, then, to consider a tankless water heater. They are one of the greenest plumbing fixtures around!
Energy from the Sun: Solar Powered Hot Water Heating Systems
A solar powered hot water heating system is the perfect addition to any home that wants to reduce its carbon footprint. A solar powered hot water heating system is typically comprised of four main parts:
- Solar thermal collectors
- A water storage tank (or another point of usage)
- Interconnecting pipes
- A fluid system to move heat from the collector to the tank
Specifically, a solar powered hot water heating system is designed to have an array of solar collector panels on the roof of a home. It is a complex system that works on deceptively simple principles. When the solar powered hot water heating system is installed, these panels are then connected to a hot water tank, and a fluid is circulated around the solar panels and the hot water tank. The sun's energy heats the fluid up to a suitably high temperature as it passes through the panels.
But don’t be mistaken: This fluid is not used for washing and showering, but for heating the water in your hot water tank. Inside the hot water tank is a coiled copper pipe whose increased surface area allows the heat from the circulated fluid to transfer to the water stored in the tank. Hot water heating systems have sensors to detect when the sun is hot enough to heat the fluid, and these sensors will start the water pump working at the appropriate time.
What happens if there isn't enough solar energy to generate enough hot water? Solar powered hot water heating systems have hot water tanks that are fitted with an electric heater element and a thermostat. The thermostat can sense if the water is hot enough; if it isn't, then the electric element will switch itself on until the desired temperature is reached.
Make Your Home Green with Solar Power
Solar powered hot water heating systems are growing in popularity. More and more homes are being built or retrofitted for solar power. These solar powered homes are reducing the nation’s dependency on fossil fuels by minimizing their carbon footprint. And a solar powered hot water heating system proves you don’t need to have your home run completely on solar power to do your part to help the environment. A solar powered hot water heating system is the perfect way to reduce your carbon footprint and to make your home an environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient, and economical space.
Save Water with Low-Flow and High-Efficiency Toilets
Last but not least are high-efficiency or low-flow toilets. A high-efficiency toilet can save your household up to 16,500 gallons of water in just one year, because a high-efficiency toilet typically discharges only 1.6 gallons of water per flush (some even as little as 1.28), whereas the average household toilet discharges three gallons. You can see, then, that a high-efficiency toilet can net you considerable savings when it comes to your water bill.
Or you might want to consider a low-flow toilet if a high-efficiency toilet isn’t right for you. If you prefer greater flexibility in flushing options, you can always choose to go with a dual-flush toilet. A dual-flush toilet offers two flush quantities: a light flush of about 0.9 gallons and a heavy flush of about 1.6 gallons.
Contact a Plumbing Specialist
Whether you choose a tankless hot water heater, solar powered water heating system, or a high-efficiency or low-flow toilet, you can’t go wrong with environmentally-friendly plumbing fixtures. They’ll save you thousands of gallons of water each year, and they’ll help you save precious dollars on your energy bills. Environmentally-friendly plumbing fixtures come in a number of attractive designs, so you’re sure to find the right fixture for your home. Contact your local plumbing company today and inquire about the right environmentally friendly plumbing fixture for your home.
Tucson: (520) 505-3236