Going green can provide an overall improved living experience and also lower utility bills.
Water-conserving fixtures such as toilets, showerheads and faucets are among the top green features homeowners desire, with more than half of prospective homebuyers indicating each as an essential or desired home feature in a recent NAHB survey.
Here are some ways to incorporate water efficiency into your home:
Water-conserving fixtures have been on the market for decades and are readily available for no additional cost.
You should not be paying a premium to have your plumbing contractors specify and install efficient toilets, faucets or showerheads. Choose certified fixtures, such as WaterSense products, to ensure good performance as well as water savings.
Energy Star appliances are certified to save water as well as energy.
According to the Department of Energy, a standard-sized certified dishwasher costs about $35 per year to run and can save an average of 3,870 gallons of water over its lifetime; certified clothes washers use about 25% less energy and 33% less water than regular washers.
You can find certified appliances, as well as available rebates for Chattanooga and surrounding areas, at www.energystar.gov/products.
Water heating accounts for about 18% of a home’s energy use. Energy Star also certifies water heaters.
There are a few factors to consider when choosing between a tank, tankless or solar water heater, including available fuel sources for your home and cost.
A good source of information to help with your project can be found at www.energy.gov/energysaver.
Homebuyers planning new construction should consider grouping rooms where plumbing is required in their layout and design.
This method can improve the efficiency of the supply and waste systems and save on water and energy.
For instance, you can place the kitchen near or adjacent to the laundry room and have the bathrooms back onto each other.
Water leak detectors
Finally, consider installing smart water leak detectors to alert you of potential water leaks located throughout your house, or automatically turn off the water to protect your home, as water damage repairs cost on average about $2,500.
To find a qualified, professional plumber, builder, or appliance dealer in the Chattanooga area, visit the member directory at www.HBAGC.net.