Water-saving, energy efficient technology is nothing new -- with low-flow toilets, sinks and showers now common in many homes. While these kinds of fixtures certainly help to conserve water or reduce energy waste, this savings often comes with a trade-off in the form of reduced performance, such as a puny shower spray or a toilet that can't quite flush everything you throw at it. Ultra-modern plumbing technology, such as the fixtures and systems included in the article, is designed to provide substantial water and/or energy savings with little to no noticeable impact on performance, making for happy homeowners and a cleaner, greener planet.
Around 30 percent of all water used in the home goes to outdoor uses, and half of that amount is used to water grass and plants. Adopting more effective sprinkler technology can make a big difference toward reducing outdoor water waste, while still allowing you to maintain a lush lawn. The latest systems rely on smart technology, which connects the system to your home WiFi. This allows the system to monitor weather conditions and automatically adjust sprinklers as needed for the proper level of lawn watering. Used correctly, this technology can cut the amount of water used on your lawn by 30 percent.
While a dishwasher that uses very little water may seem like a surefire way to end up with piles of dirty dishes, the newest models use special technology to give you the most cleaning power with the least amount of water and energy. Some use rinse water from the previous cycle to wash the next load, while others have advanced soil sensors, better layouts, and efficient water jets to keep water consumption at a minimum without sacrificing power. Pick one rated under the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Star program for a 5 percent energy efficiency boost and a 15 percent increase in water efficiency compared to standard models.
Drain Water Heat-Recovery Systems
Hot water that enters the drain in your tub, shower, sink, or washing machine represents wasted energy. Heat-recovery systems capture this heat energy before it can be flushed away, then use it to preheat cold water before it reaches your hot water heater. These systems cost $300 to $500 and must be installed by a skilled plumber, but they come with a payback period of 2.5 to 7 years, after which you'll save money every single year.
Tankless Hot Water Heaters
The standard hot water heater keeps hot water always at the ready, which can be a major energy waste. Tankless systems heat water only when you need it, making it available on-demand to avoid standby losses. Adding one of these systems at each plumbing fixture in your home will cut energy use by 27 to 50 percent. Even just one larger whole-house unit can reduce energy used for water heating by between 8 and 34 percent, depending on your consumption rate.
Greywater refers to any waste water that leaves your home from the sink, tub, shower or washing machine -- but not from the toilet. This water can be captured and reused with a greywater plumbing system, which allows you to recycle this water for outdoor uses like irrigation. A well-designed system can recapture 50 to 80 percent of waste water, saving 50,000 gallons and $400 a year on average.
For assistance, visit a professional's website such as http://gopherplumbing.com.Share