Easy Ways to Go Green With Your Home
Conserving water and energy has always been a good idea, although, until fairly recently, the available technology to do so failed to attract enthusiasts. From “slow-flow” toilets and shower heads to ugly solar collectors on roofs, conservation simply cost more than it was worth. Fortunately, intelligent, profit-minded businesses went to work developing green products that work very well. Without reducing your home’s functionality, new green technology improves comfort and saves big on energy expenses. When it’s time to remodel your home, or build the home of your dreams, consider seizing the advantages of integrated green systems.
Here in California, water tops the list of conservation concerns, even without a prolonged drought. New home builds and remodeling projects provide the best opportunities to fit a home with water and/or energy saving structures. Here are some great ways to minimize your use of municipal water and energy while maintaining a comfortable lifestyle.
Dual Flush Toilets
We no longer need to run screaming from the room at the mention of water-wise toilets. These days, many models actually do their duty with ease. Dual flush toilets have the added advantage of allowing you to use even less water when only a little will do. But they also provide the means to handle the larger needs, too, without backups and clogs.
Graywater Collection Systems
Water drained from sinks, bathtubs and washing machines, known as graywater, can be captured, treated and used to water landscaping. Since watering lawns, shrubs and trees weighs down your utility bills, re-using graywater makes good sense.
By working with your landscaper, your remodeling contractor can install a graywater collection system and hook it into a drip irrigation network for your landscaping. Drip irrigation keeps your water on, or in, the ground and not up in the air where you lose much of it to evaporation.
Hot Water Demand Pumps or Recirculation Pumps
Waiting for the hot water to arrive at your sink or shower head wastes gallons of water every day. Some people collect the cold water in buckets to be used for watering house plants later, but hot water demand pumps, or recirculation pumps, relieve you of that hassle. By keeping hot water in the pipe at all times, you eliminate the need to waste or collect the cold water.
Instant, On-Demand Water Heaters
While the new federal regulations for standard hot water heaters require manufacturers to include tank insulation, energy loss still occurs while the water sits in the tank waiting for you. With the very economical instant water heaters, only the water you need is heated at the moment you call for it. These on-demand water heaters have been around for a while and have enjoyed technological upgrades for efficiency and reliability.
If sunshine could be bottled and exported, California would be the place to do it. In the meantime, using the sun to heat your water and power your home can not only cut your traditional energy usage to the bone, you could also receive government rebates and possibly sell any extra electricity generated back to the utility provider. As with all other green technology, solar power designs now offer more for less. With the new low-profile solar panels that attach right to your roof deck, you benefit from their utility while making an attractive statement about your commitment to green living. Even solar water heaters have a smaller, smarter footprint.
With decades of home construction and remodeling experience in Southern California, econstruct, Inc. can help you design, plan and build a green home, either from the ground up or through remodeling projects. With our fingers on the pulse of evolving green technology and extensive knowledge of building codes and government requirements, we will see to it your conservation efforts meet your needs and exceed your expectations. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and see what we can do for you.