3 Easy Ways to Make a “Greener” Home in Honor of St. Patrick's Day
March is almost here! Preparations to fend off Leprechauns and find pots of gold are underway. People are pulling out their green shirts, shamrock accessories, and preparing to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day in style. Go one step further and deck out the house for St. Patrick’s Day! Going greener at home is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday and the best part? The home (and homeowners) will be reaping the rewards of an eco-friendly home for the rest of the year!
Invest in Water-Saving Fixtures
Looking to be greener at home and save some green for the wallet? Consider investing in water-saving fixtures! The average household wastes 180 gallons a week. Over the course of a year, that can add up to a lot of water-waste, which is harmful to the environment and the budget!
Some water-saving fixture options include the following:
- Low-Flow Toilets: Low-Flow toilets are also called “High-Efficiency Toilets.” Older toilets flush 3.5 gallons of water per flush, where low-flow toilets get the job done with just 1.5 gallons thanks to a wider flushing passage and gravity.
- Performance Showerheads: Traditional showerheads pump out water at a rate of 2.5 gallons per minute. Newer “performance” or “high-efficiency” models produce water at 1.75 gallons per minute without sacrificing the quality of the shower. Homeowners can save 30% or more on their water bill using performance showerheads.
- Low-Flow Faucets: Low-flow faucets are another easy addition to an eco-friendly bathroom. Older models average 2.2 gallons of water per minute, but newer models produce about 1.5 gallons of water per minute.
Install Energy-Efficient Water Heaters
Traditional water heaters are a massive tax on water and electric bills in homes. They consist of a large tank of water that is heated continuously and reheated for the home’s use. The energy waste comes largely from the constant reheating of the water.
Energy-efficient water heaters come in a variety of forms.
- Tankless: Tankless water heaters are the smallest, most unobtrusive energy-efficient water heater on the market. They also require fewer alterations to the existing plumbing system of a home. Tankless heaters heat water on demand, reducing the energy costs on the house.
- Solar: Solar tanks are heated with energy collected by solar panels on a home. They have a higher start-up cost than other models and require quite a bit of modification to the existing water system. However, tax credits often reduce the starting cost, and the use of renewable resources (sunlight) is extremely eco-friendly.
- Heat Pump: Heat pumps are a unique system for water heating. The system uses the heat of underground air to warm water and only uses electricity to move the natural heat from point A to point B. They are incredibly eco-friendly but cost more than other models and require modification to most existing systems.
Find "Greener" Home Habits
There are ways for the household to help the home be greener, too! Changing habits that aren’t eco-friendly is an easy, inexpensive way to lower energy and water costs in a home.
- Turn the Water Off: Everyone has left the water run while brushing their teeth or washing dishes. It’s a common water-wasting mistake made in most homes. Turn off the water unless actively using it to conserve water usage.
- Shorten Showers: Showers are a massive source of water-waste in homes. Letting the water run while getting ready to hop in the shower to warm up the water wastes hundreds of gallons of water a year in a single home. To save money and be more eco-friendly, shorten showers to under 15 minutes.
- Scrape Dishes: Scraping dishes saves water whether they are washed by hand or in the dishwasher. Scraped dishes require less water to rinse off and clean debris from the surface.
Using some of these simple tips can make the house a bit greener before St. Patrick’s Day arrives!
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