Water conservation isn’t as hard as some people think. We can even find some creative ideas when it comes to the fixtures we use every day. Here are some small things you can consider that will add up to make a big difference.
One surprising way to save water and energy is through hot water recirculation. Most people don’t even think twice when they turn on the hot water at the sink or shower to wait for it to get hot enough. During that time, you’re actually letting gallons of water travel right down the drain. While water isn’t usually that expensive, you might not realize that you’re also filling the water heater with cold water that consumes energy as it’s heated. Instead of having the water heater expend more energy while also letting water run down the drain, that’s where water recirculation comes into the picture. It’s basically a small pump around the heater that keeps hot water recirculated in the hot water lines. It really is a conservative approach to saving energy and water at the same time.
Another item to consider is the aerators that are located where water comes out of the faucets. If you look at several different faucets, you’ll see that some of them release water very forcefully, while others will release water very softly. The aerator’s responsibility is to add air to the water stream, making it look like there’s more water coming out than there really is. In actuality, we really don’t need much water to wash our hands. If you’re noticing that the water is coming out with a lot of force, splashing everywhere and wasting water in the process, that means the aerator has probably been gutted from that fixture. Make sure you have good, functional aerators on all your faucets in order to conserve water.
Older toilets made before 1994 use a tremendous amount of water at 3 or 5 gallons per flush. If you have a newer toilet made since 1994, it only uses 1.6 gallons per flush. You’d be surprised how much it adds up if you flush an old toilet several times a day. Compounding that over the course of a year, that’s a lot of unnecessary water being used.
Dealing with your water quality can also be a very efficient way to save water and energy. Hard water will cause scale buildup on heating elements in the water heater and/or on the bottom of the gas water heater’s tank. You’re going to have to heat through all that scale buildup before even beginning to heat to the water. (It’s almost acting as an insulator.) If you have hard water in your home, it’s causing scale buildup and costing you extra energy, which is what we call energy overpayment.
If you have any questions about what you can do to conserve water and energy, contact us online or give us a call at 540-483-9382.