1. Water Pressure Regulators - It’s recommended that you have your water pressure tested. It should be between 60 and 80 psi. Adjusting your water 10-20 psi can save thousands of gallons of water per year per household! Water pressure regulators, or pressure reducing valves, conserve water and reduce utility bills. BONUS: they protect your home’s plumbing system! Blood pressure is usually the first thing your doctor checks, the same concept applies to your plumbing. Regulating your water pressure ensures your equipment is operating safely and effectively.
2. Low-Flow Toilets - Toilets may be a humorous topic in general, but the waste of millions gallons of water is no laughing matter. According to the EPA, an estimated 4.8 billion gallons are flushed down the toilet every day! If you have one of those old, water-guzzling clunker toilets (uses 3.5 gallons of water per flush), consider a new high-efficiency, water-saving toilet. Older model low flow toilets use 1.6 gal of water per flush, and newer high-efficiency, low flow toilets use just 1.28 gallons of water per flush! This upgrade can save 13,000 gal of water per year per toilet! With the cost of water today, it won’t belong before you recoup the cost of upgrading through utility bill savings.
3. Water Treatment & Filtration - Simply put, refilling water bottles reduces waste and saves money! Did you know that making plastic water bottles to meet America’s demand uses more than 17 million barrels of oil annually? That’s enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year! San Diego County has very hard water, and the additional benefits of water treatment are healthier hair and skin, laundered clothes maintain quality longer, and your plumbing and appliances last longer.
4. Tankless Water Heaters - The average household spends $400-$600 per year on water heating - making it the second largest energy expenditure. A tankless water heater uses less energy because it heats water “on demand” rather than having to keep the water hot until use, like a traditional tank heater. Bonus: You won’t run out of hot water!
5. Fix Leaks - Every drop counts, and more than 1 trillion gallons of water are leaking from American homes, each year! This includes dripping faucets, running toilets, outdoor spigots, detecting slab leaks, or leaks that could be hidden in walls or ceilings. If you feel like your water usage is seriously high, call a professional, licensed plumber for leak detection right away.
6. Use Low Flow Fixtures - A standard faucet can release slightly more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute. A high-efficiency fixture offers a flow rate of 1.5 gallons per minute or less. Showers are a big culprit for water waste. Look for the WaterSense label on low flow shower heads. The EPA says if every household changed to WaterSense-labeled showerheads, we could save more than 250 billion gallons of water annually which could supply 2.5 million households with water for a year!
7. High EfficiencyHVAC - Newer central heating and air conditioning systems are much more energy efficient and may offer zoning, variable speed motors and, smart control options. Get the highest SEER rated system you can for your budget. The higher the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER), the less energy it takes to cool the home - and this will lower your energy bills. Look for the ENERGY STAR label. If 1 in 10 homes upgraded to ENERGY STAR HVAC equipment, we could prevent annual greenhouse gas emissions of 13 billion pounds - or the equivalent of 1.2 billion cars!
8.Mini Splits - About 45% of a home’s energy is used for heating and cooling and much of that goes to heating or cooling unoccupied spaces. Mini splits, or ductless air conditioning systems, use less energy than central air systems. This is partially because you can install up to eight throughout your home and create a “zoning” affect so you are only cooling or heating specific rooms. Make this piece of equipment even greener by repurposing the water it uses for your landscaping!
9. Wi-Fi / Programmable Thermostats & Zoning - Save energy and money and get MORE comfort! Smart thermostats with zoning systems let you set different temperatures for different areas, at different times a day. Set it and forget it! Also, wi-fi thermostats let you manage your system from your mobile device, including remote access. So for example you could turn your system off or set the temperature higher while you're gone and then turn it on when you're on the way home.
Programmable thermostats can save 10-30% energy, but you must use them properly to achieve energy savings. Your installer should give you a tutorial on your particular model.
10. Inspect & Repair Duct Work - Typically, 20 - 30% of energy is lost due to improperly installed or damaged ductwork! Not only does this drive up energy bills, it makes your HVAC system work hard, thus shortening it’s lifespan or causing need for repair. Get duct work inspected to ensure it is sealed properly, is not damaged and is size correctly for your system