Most of us use our home bathrooms without much regard to how their plumbing might be affecting the environment. But there are actually quite a few residential plumbing services that you take advantage of to keep your negative impacts low. Here are a few easy and moderate steps to take:
- Water Saving Toilets and Low-Flow Fixtures
Water saving toilets and low-flow fixtures are two of the easiest changes that can make a bathroom more environmentally friendly. Often, low-flow showerheads are so well designed that you can use less water without noticing any difference at all in your water pressure and overall shower experience. There are both single- and double-flush low-flow toilets, so you can pick whichever you like better. Some are pressure-assisted to ensure that all waste is removed from the bowl.
- Tankless Water Heaters
A traditional water heater constantly stores hot water for use, typically using either gas or electricity as fuel. A tankless water heater can eliminate this wasted energy by heating water as it flows to the faucet or showerhead, passing over a gas burner or electric element. Hot water heater installation costs an average of $978 (according to HomeAdvisor), so you’ll need to factor that and the cost of the necessary appliances into your budget. But since the Department of Energy estimates that tankless systems can save up to 34% of energy usage for a home, you may quickly make up any expenses because of lowered utility bills.
- Regular Septic System Inspections
How a septic tank works is by allowing wastewater to flow into a large tank and naturally separate (with solids sinking to the bottom, scum floating to the top and relatively clean water remaining in the middle) such that it flows out the other side of the tank. But a tank that is working improperly or leaking can release viruses and bacteria and contaminate the nearby groundwater supply — not to mention some awful smells. You can include inspections with regular sewer and drain cleaning to keep on a steady schedule.
Are there any other easy plumbing changes homeowners can make to be greener? Share your ideas in the comments.