Plumbing plays a huge role when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint in your home or business, with more eco-friendly options available on the market now than ever before.
Last week, 10,000 Perthians made their way into the CBD to urge the Australian Government to take action on climate change, to preserve our planet for future generations.
While this is one way to make a difference, another is to make energy-efficient and water saving changes in our homes – and they may be simpler than you think!
Here are our tips for making your home plumbing more environmentally friendly, which will also save you money in the process.
Install Energy Efficient Appliances
Whether you are purchasing appliances for a new home or are simply updating your worn out washing machine, look out for the environmentally friendly options available.
These energy efficient models will not only help to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, but also the cost to run the appliances.
Electrical appliances such as washing machines, clothes dryers, dish washers and air conditioners will have an energy efficient rating label on them, which will immediately tell you how energy efficient the product is and estimate the amount of electricity it would use in a year.
While these models may be more expensive up front, they will save you money in the long run.
This is similar with gas appliances, such as space heaters and ducted heating systems, however it will give the estimated gas consumption over a year.
By choosing energy saving appliances, you are minimising the exploitation of natural resources, including natural gas, oil, coal and water. You will also be helping to minimise water, soil and air pollution produced through the generation of energy.
If you need advice on the right appliance for your home, or help with installation minus the call out fees, our team of licensed plumbers are always ready to take your call.
Energy Saving Water Pipes
When building a new home, or replacing pipework, it is important to select pipes which are the correct size for their purpose and are made of certain materials, which will improve water pressure, minimise leaks and reduce heat loss. Insulation of heat means less energy is required to heat your water, making it more environmentally friendly.
PEX pipes are durable and long-lasting, which will reduce the need for additional materials and save your pipes from heading to landfill sooner rather than later. These materials are also an excellent choice when it comes to maintaining heat.
Pipe insulators are relatively cheap and can be added to plastic or copper pipes to significantly reduce heat loss.
Opt For Water Saving Toilets And Shower Heads
A quick way to become more water efficient is to swap out your old shower head for an eco-friendly option. Some shower heads are more water efficient than others, which helps to save on your water bills as well as reducing energy costs from hot water use.
By adding a shower timer, you can also effectively monitor and actively reduce your water consumption.
You can also save water by installing a dual flush toilet. New toilets will have a WELS rating, which indicates how water-efficient the toilet is, helping you to make a more informed choice.
Not only is this a great way to reduce your environmental footprint, it is also a great economic choice for your household.
While this is already common practice in rural areas, suburbia has been slow to catch on – but it is never too late to start benefiting from a rainwater tank.
Implementing a rainwater tank on your property does not have to be an all-or-nothing approach. The amount of rainfall you receive on your property and how much space you have to accommodate the different sized tanks available will determine what you use rainwater for.
If you have plenty of space and reliable rainfall, you could become fairly reliant on rainwater for most applications – including bathing and drinking. However, you could simply use it for washing clothes and reticulation, which can so much as halve your water bill.
Being self-sufficient eases the pressure on our dams and saves more water for all.
Save Water In The Garden
We have already mentioned the benefits of utilising a rainwater tank in your backyard, but there are additional ways to stop water wastage.
Take the time to observe your reticulation system in action. Placement of sprinkler heads and water direction is important to ensure your garden is benefitting from the water supply instead of the pavement – so make adjustments if this is not the case.
It is also worth considering the implementation of a drip-irrigation system, which delivers water directly to the plants roots either from the soil surface or buried below in slow drips. This targeted approach minimises water lost to evaporation.
Adding a rain sensor to your irrigation system also helps to lower water consumption, by halting the sprinkler system during rainfall.
To ensure evaporation is minimised, always water before 9am or after 6pm when it is cooler.
How Energy Efficient Is Your Hot Water System?
Hot water systems are quite long lasting and expensive to replace, so you may not be running out to find a new one if your old one is functioning smoothly. However, when it does become time to replace your hot water system, it is worth weighing up the environmentally friendly options.
Gas hot water systems are much more energy efficient than electric hot water systems, but solar hot water systems are by far the most sustainable way to heat water in your home.
Solar panels are installed on your roof to harness the sun’s clean energy (no fossil fuels required!) to heat the water flowing through the system. This is stored in a tank ready for use around your home, much like a continuous flow hot water system.
They are ideal for use in Australia with our bountiful sunshine and also attract Government rebates.
It is always worth having a chat with our Perth plumbers and gas fitters for advice on the best choice for your home.
Look For Leaks
Reducing water consumption can also be as easy as fixing the leaking taps in your home. While it may seem like only a small amount of wastage, a leaking tap can waste up to 10,000 litres of water a year.
You could also have leaks in underground pipes or walls, which can be more difficult to determine, or a leaking toilet.
The first course of action to determine if there is a slow leak in your home is to turn off all taps and water outlets and take a reading of your water meter. Wait at least 15 minutes and up to an hour and check the meter again. If the numbers have changed, you may have a leak.
Signs and symptoms of hidden leaks include water stains, reduced water pressure, bubbling paint and moisture or dampness on walls, which could have also caused mould or mildew to appear.
Call In The No Probs Plumbing Team For Help
Whether you need help installing a water-efficient shower head or an eco-friendly washing machine to reduce your carbon emissions, No Probs Plumbing and Electrical is up to the task.
Our Perth plumbing service is always available to take your calls to offer advice on the best ways to make your home more water or energy efficient, drawing on years of experience in the industry.
The No Probs Plumbing and Electrical team can help with all manner of plumbing needs, such as freeing blocked drains, servicing hot water systems and repairing burst pipes.