If you never got around to some of the home updates you wanted to make in 2014, make a resolution to get them done in the New Year. Doing it for the environment is a great reason to make changes, but you’ll also enjoy not having to pay as much for your energy bills.
Starting on April 15th of 2015, the government will require that all new water heaters abide by updated energy standards. This means that from now on, all water heaters 55 gallons or less must meet an Energy Factor of at least 0.95. Builders of new homes and anyone looking to replace an old water heater in their current home will need to purchase one of these efficient models.
According to Energy.gov, the second largest energy expense in your home is the water heater. So while a new energy efficient water heater will initially cost you more to purchase, the financial savings you’ll see in upcoming years will make up for it. There are also various rebate and tax incentives to buying certain Energy Star certified heaters.
Toilets account for nearly 30 percent of an average home’s indoor water consumption. If your toilets use more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush, consider replacing them with high-efficiency or ultra low flush models that use no more than 1.28 gallons per flush. Another option is the dual-flush toilet that you may have seen commercially, which has a flush button on the bottom for liquid waste and a flush button on top for solid waste.
You can cut your shower water use by up to 70 percent by installing an ultra-low-flow showerhead. Many of the older showerheads use more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute, while the newer showerheads use only two gallons per minute. Using ultra-low-flow showerheads will also save you money on your energy bills by reducing the demand on your water heater.
If we can help to make your home more energy-efficient in 2015, give us a call. Have a safe and happy New Year!