High Efficiency Plumbing Fixtures Curb Wasteful Water Usage
It’s not surprising that high-efficiency plumbing fixtures save water. Less obvious, however, is the fact that they also conserve energy. A substantial amount of it is consumed by treating and delivering water to your home. Once it gets there, water that must be heated for bathing, laundry and kitchen consumes even more energy—an amount that actually shows up on your monthly gas or electric bill.
By switching to high-efficiency plumbing fixtures in just 1 percent of homes, Americans could conserve 100 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and prevent the discharge of 80,000 tons of greenhouse gases. Most homes offer three opportunities for retrofitting high-efficiency plumbing fixtures:
- Low-flow toilets – Toilets installed before 1994 are water-wasters by today’s standards. High-efficiency models use only 1.6 gallons or less per flush. Ultra low-flow toilets meet an EPA standard of 1.3 gallons per flush, while dual-flush models have two buttons: one for solid waste and a lower flow volume of .8 to 1.0 gallons for solid waste.
- Water-conserving shower heads – Original equipment shower heads in many homes use as much as 5 gallons per minute (gpm) of water. The current federal specification for low-flow showerheads sets a maximum flow rate at 2.5 gpm. Switching to the new standard reduces water consumption by as much as 70 percent. Since a proportion of shower water must be heated, reducing the total amount of water consumed also helps reduce water heating expenses.
- Low-flow faucets and aerators – Faucets can also be upgraded to meet the 2.5 gpm spec. Ultra low-flow models go even further and offer flow rates of 1.5 gpm or less. A simple aerator that threads into the standard faucet opening can also reduce water consumption significantly.
Sobieski Services offers plumbing upgrades for both water and energy conservation throughout your home. For more information about high-efficiency plumbing fixtures, give us a call.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: Carbon Arc