Water conservation is a focus of the modern home, since over the long term this approach is beneficial to both the environment and our wallets. With that in mind, here are four tips for water-wise upgrades that we can integrate into our next bathroom or kitchen remodels.
1. Hot Water Recirculating Pump: A recirculation system provides instant hot water and uses considerably less water than a traditional system does. The main drawback to such a system is that it requires the pipes to be insulated, which usually necessitates going through the walls. Remodeling is the perfect time to install such a system because you can offset that additional cost.
2. Tankless Water Heater: Traditional water heaters are inefficient. Tankless heaters heat water on-demand, which eliminates the need for the tank and greatly reduces energy usage. There are some special considerations when combining tankless and recirculating systems: a standard recirculating pump may not provide enough water for the standard tankless heater, so it is necessary to buy them with synergy in mind.
3. Replace the Toilet: Unless your current toilet is very new, it is outdated and using too much water. High-efficiency toilets can save the average family tens of thousands of gallons of water each year, which will easily offset the additional cost of the unit. A dual-flush feature, which you can purchase already installed or add via a kit, can significantly increase those water savings.
4. Low-Flow Fixtures: Low-flow showerheads and fixtures use high pressure and aeration to create an appropriate flow using less water. These are wise additions for right now, even if you’re not planning a remodel. And if you are renovating, replace the showerhead but rethink replacing your shower and bathtub. New fixtures along with resurfacing and tile replacement can produce a like-new modern bathroom at a much-reduced cost.
I will definitely think about trying one or several of these options once I own again instead of renting. Even just a simple dual-flush toilet or a standard toilet fitted with a dual-flush kit is a smart investment. Factor that in with low-flow fixtures and tankless and recirculating water systems, and it becomes clear that we can do right by the environment and save enough money to offset the cost of the remodel in a very short period.
Will you be using water-smart technology soon?