Investing in plumbing upgrades can be costly. However, these upgrades often pay for themselves in lower utility costs and increased resale value.
Strategic plumbing improvements can also make your home more eco-friendly, which helps you do your part in supporting the world while appealing to modern homebuyers. Here are five eco-friendly plumbing upgrades to consider for your home.
Tankless Water Heater
The traditional water heater setup is adequate but not efficient. While staying on top of water heater repair and maintenance tasks can help improve efficiency, the design is flawed.
When you use a traditional tank water heater, you’re paying for electricity or fuel to keep water warm even when it’s not in use. That means when everyone in the house is sleeping, you’re paying for an unused tank of warm water.
Tankless water heaters generate hot water on demand. These wall-mounted devices take up less space as the pipes run through the heating system. When you turn on the tap, the water travels through the system to be heated. When the taps are off, no energy is exuded to keep water warm.
Upgrading to a tankless system is one of the most popular plumbing improvements in recent years, with many homebuyers expecting to see them in newer homes.
Faucet aerators are one of the cheapest, most effective devices you can use to minimize your water consumption. As the name implies, the aerator mixes air with the water as it comes out of the tap, increasing the surface area of the water. This process allows you the same coverage when showering or washing your hands while cutting your monthly consumption by up to 300 gallons per month.
Faucet aerators aren’t perfect; they make no difference when filling a pot of water or taking a bath. However, they’re a simple attachment that fits most faucets and could save you hundreds of dollars per year on water.
Low-flow toilets are standard in most newer homes. However, if your house is older than 20 years and hasn’t had significant upgrades, this one should be top priority.
Traditional toilets use 13,000 gallons of water per year. Installing low-flow toilets reduces water consumption by 20-60%. While the first low-flow toilets on the market in the late 1990s and early 2000s were flawed, those design issues have been solved.
Steam showers are another recent innovation that many designers are incorporating into new builds. The steam shower not only significantly cuts water consumption but also adds the luxury of a home spa to your bathroom.
While a traditional shower uses two gallons of water per minute, steam showers use two gallons of water over 30 minutes. If you’re someone who loves a long, luxurious shower, this is for you.
While it does take more electricity to run a steam shower, this consumption is offset by the power savings from not heating and storing as much water.
Drinking Water Tap
If you’re still buying bottled water, you’re a part of the problem. America alone throws 35 billion plastic water bottles into landfills each year. Even with recycling programs, a lot of resources are used to process water bottles.
Consider installing a filtered drinking water tap to fill your own reusable water bottles at home. This installation is an excellent alternative to fighting over who left the Brita pitcher empty or carting around 18-liter jugs for the water cooler.
These simple upgrades are affordable, eco-friendly, and add resale value to your home. Consider adding these plumbing improvements to your renovation list.