If you’re environmentally conscious like most Torontonians, you’ll want to make sure your home is as green as possible. Here are our tips for ensuring that you reduce your footprint wherever possible by choosing smart residential plumbing solutions. If you aren’t sure what’s possible and what’s not, consult with your local Toronto plumber to find out what he would recommend. Here are our top tips for improving your green profile:
Tip 1: Conserve Water
Just by making a few changes you can reduce your water consumption by quite a bit. Not only will it lessen your environmental impact but it will help you save money, particularly in Toronto where water and other utilities cost an arm and a leg. Some of the ways you can do this include:
- Replacing your faucets and shower head with more efficient fixtures
- Investing in a low-flow, water-efficient toilet
- Checking regularly for cracked water pipes and detection of leaks
- Updating your washer to one with smart water usage programs
Just replacing old showerheads can save you several litres of water per shower, and if you implement more than one of these measures in your residential plumbing you should soon see a reduction in the quantity of water you use.
Tip 2: Use Less Energy for Water Heating
Your hot water heater is one of the main culprits for both water usage and hydro, and turning it off isn’t really an option. Not only is it inconvenient, especially in Toronto’s frigid winters, but when you turn it back on to heat it up it uses roughly four times the energy to get back up to speed. There are better ways to reduce your energy usage, such as:
- Lower your temperature by 5 degrees – just enough to ensure that the water is hot enough for your bath or shower. After all, where’s the point in paying to heat up water only to add cold to make it bearable?
- Insulating your tank to help maintain the temperature and avoid using excessive energy to keep it hot.
These measures will help to save the amount of energy you use, regardless of whether your water heater is electric or gas-operated.
Tip 3: Minimize Chemical Usage
The use of chemicals is one of the primary causes of global warming and the resultant climate change, so doing your bit to minimize it will help protect the plant as well as preserve your fixtures and fittings. Harsh chemical cleaners are often corrosive and can cause lasting damage to bathtubs, sinks and pipes. In addition, they give off potentially harmful fumes and can cause illnesses among family members, and can poison the groundwater around your home. Instead, look for natural products that are biodegradable and you’ll be better off all round.
Tip 4: Install Updated Equipment
Many of the hot water heaters, toilets, showers and faucets manufactured in the past are real guzzlers, using unnecessary quantities of both energy and water. An on-demand water heater, for example, only uses energy to heat the water as you need it, so there’s no unnecessary usage to keep water hot in between showers. It also lowers the risk of losing hundreds of litres of water in case of a leak or burn-out, although thankfully those events don’t happen too often.
If any of your residential plumbing equipment is more than 7 years old, speak with your local plumber about replacing it with new, updated equipment. In many cases, you may even qualify for a grant or rebate for doing so.