The Latest Energy Efficient Plumbing Products and Systems

Thanks to an ever increasing demand for making homes more environmentally friendly, the plumbing industry is constantly breaking new ground and bringing energy-efficient products and systems to homeowners everywhere. High efficiency plumbing products do more than help you conserve water—they also help you save money by reducing your home’s energy usage. In fact, with the average American home using 100 gallons of water per day, it’s no surprise that water-saving initiatives add up in a big way. According to the EPA, you can save up to $170 a year just by reducing your water usage.

To help save you money and decrease your home’s impact on the environment, Chas Roberts’ team of knowledgeable plumbers is here to give you the inside scoop on the latest energy-efficient plumbing products and systems available.

Money-saving water heaters

The plumbing experts at Chas Roberts know water heaters inside and out, which is why we encourage homeowners to invest in newer, higher-efficiency models such as tankless and solar water heaters. According to Energy Star, the process of heating water accounts for 15% of a home’s energy usage. Unlike traditional tank water heaters, newer models drastically reduce the amount of energy needed to heat water. If you have an outdated water heater, we can help you find the perfect model to the meet the demands of your family while also staying within your budget. During a water heater assessment, we can get a clear picture of the state of your current heater and of potential options for improvement.

Solar water heaters

Solar water heaters are growing in popularity amongst homeowners in sunny climates who want to save money and reduce their environmental footprint. In the aptly-named Valley of the Sun, solar water heaters are a smart choice that will pay off over time. Solar water heaters harness the sun’s energy through a variety of systems. The most common configuration consists of:

  • A thermal panel installed on the roof to collect energy directly from the sun’s rays
  • A tank to store the hot water
  • A circulating pump to carry the solar energy from the roof to the tank
  • A thermal regulator to trigger the heat exchange and to prevent overheating
  • A back-up heating system for times when there isn’t enough sun

Another benefit of solar water heaters is their long lifespan. According to ENERGY STAR, the average life expectancy of a certified solar water heater is 20 years. To compare, the average lifespan of a standard gas or electric water heater is 8-12 years.

Tankless water heaters

Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, use anywhere from 30- 50% less energy than traditional water heaters with tanks. This saves the average family about $100 a year. These compact heaters only heat water when you turn on the faucet, allowing you to use less water overall by reducing standby losses. Standby losses occur when energy is wasted through water cooling down in pipes, or while it sits in the tank of a traditional water heater.

Similar to solar water heaters, tankless water heaters have a much longer lifespan than a standard gas or electric water heater. Tankless water heaters last around 5-10 years longer than standard water heaters, as long as they’re well maintained.

High-efficiency toilets

Did you know that this year you could save nearly 13,000 gallons of water just by investing in high-efficiency toilets? To earn the EPA’s WaterSense certification, a toilet can only use 1.28 gallons per flush. In comparison, older toilets use anywhere from 1.6 to 3.5 gallons per flush. The newest and most advanced ultra-high efficiency toilets (UHET) use a staggeringly low .8-.11 gallons per flush. Whether you are looking to save money or reduce your family’s water consumption, investing in any of the multiple high-efficiency toilet systems is the way to go.

Gravity-assist toilets

As the name suggests, gravity-assist toilets are able to use less water because of their strategic design that enables a minimal amount of water to flush away waste completely. Gravity-assist toilets are widely available, with various styles, configurations, and colors to fit into the décor of your bathroom. Plus, their commonality makes gravity-assist toilets notably easy to repair and find replacement parts for.

Dual-flush toilets

These efficient toilets have two flush buttons, or a two-stage level that you either push up or down. One setting provides more water per flush for solid waste, while the other uses less water for liquid waste only. This system allows for dual-flush toilets to use about 20% less water per year than traditional one-flush toilets. While they’re more expensive than regular toilets initially, dual-flush toilets provide significant savings over time.

Vacuum-assisted toilets

The newest technology on the market, vacuum-assisted toilets suck waste out of the toilet by creating depressurization at the trapway, or exit point. This mechanism allows vacuum-assisted toilets to use as little as .8 gallons of water per flush. As more major manufacturers add these toilets to their product lineups, vacuum-assisted toilets are sure to become more widely available for use in homes across the country.

Tank inserts

If you’re not in the market for a new toilet, but still want to reduce the amount of water your existing toilet uses, tank inserts can be a solution. Inexpensive and made from mold-resistant plastic, tank inserts hang inside your toilet’s tank and reduce the amount of water you use per flush. Tank inserts are easily found at your local hardware store, and don’t require any tools or plumbing experience to install.

Low-flow and ultra-low-flow showerheads

Much of an average family’s water usage comes from showering. According to the EPA. standard showerheads use approximately 2.5 gallons of water per minute. That means that if each member of a family of four takes a ten to fifteen minute shower every morning, the family will use between 700 and 1,052 gallons of water per week.

Investing in low-flow or ultra-low-flow showerheads is a great way to reduce energy and water usage. By reducing the amount of water that flows through the shower head, while still maintaining consistent water pressure, low-flow shower heads combine utility and conservation. These showerheads also reduce the demand on your water heater by enabling it to work more efficiently and avoid breakdowns due to high stress, which will extend its lifespan overall. Low-flow showerheads can be found at most hardware stores, and are as easy to install as regular showerheads.

Low-flow faucet aerators

Similar in purpose to low-flow showerheads, these devices screw right onto your existing faucet head and reduce water flow while maintaining water pressure. Inexpensive and easy to install, low-flow aerators pay for themselves after a few months with the savings on your water and utility bills. By installing low-flow aerators on all the faucets in your home, you can save as much as 50% off your water and utility bills by cutting your home’s water consumption in half.

Next Steps

The world of plumbing has changed a lot since Chas Roberts started in 1942. At every step of the way, we’ve been providing top of the line service along with the latest and greatest plumbing solutions to our customers. Experience the Chas Roberts difference for yourself and contact us for all of your plumbing needs.