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How To Reduce Your Water Heating Bills

 

Did you know that the water heating system is the second largest user of energy in most American  homes? The good news is, according to the US Department of Energy, there are a number of ways that you can reduce your water heating bills. Many of its suggestions[1], found on energy.gov and highlighted in bold below, will impact your bill incrementally but when used together, can begin to make a notable change in your bills.

Use less water. This seems obvious, but it’s an unescapable fact. Use less water and you pay less money.

Install low flow showerheads and faucets. If you prefer a higher flow for showers and can’t see giving that luxury up, you may want to consider installing low flow faucets throughout your home.

Buy a more efficient model. Do your research and take a look at newer options such as tankless water heaters, heat pumps, tankless coil/indirect and last but not least, solar hot water heaters.

Purchase energy star appliances. Energy star appliance have come a long way in recent years and the options are endless. From hot water heaters to dishwashers and clothes washers, this choice can no doubt make a difference in your bills.

Wash your clothes in cold water. If using less water isn’t an option, using cold water can also take your bill down an extra notch. While sometimes you need to use hot water, if you make cold water washing your everyday choice, you will see your bill come down incrementally.

Turn down your water heater thermostat. Lowering your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees will not only impact your bill, it will keep your family safer from potential scalding – especially if you have young children in your home.

Fix leaks and make sure to turn off that tap. Energy.gov estimates that even one drip per second can cost you a dollar a day.

Insulate your water heater and pipes. Especially in the winter months, this tip can save you some real dollars. That said, make sure to follow your manufacturer’s recommendations for doing so.

Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

[1] Source: Energy.gov, “New Infographic and Projects to Keep Your Bills Out of Hot Water,” https://energy.gov/articles/new-infographic-and-projects-keep-your-energy-bills-out-hot-water, April 19, 2013.

Point-of-Use Tankless Water Heater

 

 

Tankless water heaters have become more popular over the last several years with individuals focusing on making their homes more energy efficient.  A standard hot water heater can use up to 20 percent or more of a home’s annual energy due to maintaining a standard water temperature when not in use.  Whole house tankless water heaters have helped to reduce these energy costs.  However, there a way to reduce these costs even more.

 

A point-of-use tankless water heater may be the answer.  A point-of-use water heater is placed directly where hot water will be needed.  With a whole house tankless water heater there is still some delay in hot water traveling a distance to the faucet resulting in the water cooling in the pipe.  Placing a point-of-use below a kitchen or bathroom sink, next to a tub, or in the laundry room near the washing machine, gives you a more true “instant hot water” reducing water waste.  This can also save time from waiting on hot water to make an appearance.

 

That said, there are more upfront costs installing any tankless water heater, even a point-of-use heater.  Whether gas or electric, special pipes and wiring will be needed, most likely requiring a professional plumber and electrician.  However, the purchase price for a point-of-use tankless water heater is less than a whole house tankless heater. And, keep in mind that the monthly energy savings will last for the life of your heater.

 

There are several models of point-of-use tankless water heaters available, so take the time to decide exactly what your needs are to ensure you find the one that will work best for you and your family.  Then you will be able to have “instant hot water” at just the point and time you need it.

 

Have more questions? Call us – we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

 

High Tech Your Kitchen Remodel

When it comes to a kitchen remodel, most people think of outlets and lights switches as an afterthought.  While they are a necessity, they can sometimes be unsightly and detract from beautiful kitchen designs.  Thanks to some great new items, outlets and light switches can now become an interesting part of your design that will add to the overall functioning of your new kitchen.

Light Switches –  There are now flush mount switches that are as stylish as they are functional.  These range from a simple push switch (no flip switches here), touch switches that require a touch of your finger tip, a tap switch that turns on/off with a tap of the finger, and even sensor switches where you wave your hand in front of the switch.

Outlets – Once something that could ruin the look of a gorgeous backsplash, outlets are now something to build in as part of the design. Pop-out outlets, for example, have smooth flush features enabling the outlet to remain hidden until you push it to reveal three plugs.  There are also USB outlets that can make it easier to charge your devices while working in the kitchen.

Under-counter Tracks – These attach under your cabinet area and can be used to provide lighting, extra outlets, USB ports and iPad/iPhone cradles.  They can be installed using an existing outlet to provide electricity to each cabinet section, or can be hardwired in for a completely smooth, unmarred backsplash.

Bluetooth is also a feature that can be added to allow you to control not just the lighting in your kitchen, but throughout the rest of your home.  So, if you are updating or remodeling your kitchen area, remember to check out the new tech items available to make your kitchen high functioning, as well as beautiful.

Have more questions? Call us – we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

Energy Efficient Water Heaters – Gas Versus Electric

 

Ask most people and they will agree that we live in a very energy-aware society. People are concerned with finding more ways to conserve now that ever. But, when thinking about energy efficiency, most people may not consider their water heaters as significant means for saving energy – and money. However, water heater usage makes up about 18 percent of your home’s utility bill. With that being said, it’s worth considering ways to be more energy-efficient in this area.

Your decision to be more energy aware can start with the type of water heater you purchase: electric or gas. Many people have electric water heaters in their homes and may not have considered a gas water heater. To that end, below is some information to help you determine which type of water heater is the best for your family and home.

Electric Water Heaters

  1. Less expensive to purchase.
  2. Easier to install.
  3. Monthly utility costs are higher.
  4. Average lifespan is 12 years.
  5. Longer recovery time to reheat.
  6. No hot water during power outages.
  7. No heat loss during operation.

Gas Water Heaters

  1. Purchase price is more.
  2. Install costs more due to gas line hookup and venting.
  3. Utility costs are lower per month.
  4. Average lifespan is 13 years.
  5. Hot water recovery time is less.
  6. Hot water available during power outages.
  7. Some heat loss due to ventilation.

Using these comparisons can assist you in choosing a more energy-efficient hot water heater.  Doing so can help you save money and contribute to saving energy as well.

Beware Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that can be deadly.  Most people know that cars emit carbon monoxide, but forget that any fuel burning items can produce this gas. Gas burning furnaces, water heaters, stoves, ovens, dryers, fireplaces, propane stoves, portable generators, charcoal and gas grills can all turn from useful to dangerous if you’re not aware of how to manage them.

Statistically, more carbon monoxide poisoning cases are reported during the winter than any other time of the year. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are common (i.e., headache, dizziness or light-headedness, and nausea), so many people don’t realize the cause of their sickness. Below are ways to ensure your family is protected.

  • Have your heating systems, water heaters, and other gas, oil, or coal-burning appliances inspected by a professional
  • Install battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors. These should be placed near the fuel burning appliances. Remember to change the batteries once a year.
  • Never use generators, camp stoves, charcoal grills, or any other gas or oil burning items inside your home. If using any of these outside make sure not to have them near a window.
  • Never run a motor vehicle inside the garage, even with the door up.
  • Make certain that all your fuel burning appliances are properly ventilated.
  • Never heat your home with a gas oven.

 

 

By following the above guidelines, you can help make certain your family is protected not just during these wintry months, but year round.

Have more questions? Call us – we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day.  If water runs through it – We Do It!

Is It Time to Replace Your Toilet?

 

Although it is used on a daily basis and is an indispensable element of their homes, most people give little thought to their toilets. However, like other items in your home, age and usage can take its toll. So, how can you know if your toilets are in need of replacement? Here are some signs that will help you determine if a new toilet should be in your future.

  • The majority of toilets are made from porcelain, which over time can develop small hairline cracks. Even a small crack will leak leading to damaged flooring and subfloors. Sometimes the bolts that hold the bowl to the floor will deteriorate due to a leak, causing the toilet to rock. While this can signal a need for the bolts to be tightened, it can also mean that the floor beneath the toilet has been damaged by a leak. An experienced plumber can help determine if a repair or replacement is needed. toiletring
  • If you have an older toilet in your home, it may not flush quickly or efficiently. If that is case, updating your toilet may be worth considering. Because new regulations require toilets to use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush, upgrading an older toilet can help decrease your water usage, saving you money on water bills. Furthermore, the new dual-flush toilets uses even less water for the majority of flushes reducing your water usage even more.
  • If you decide to replace your toilet, there are many options to consider, so do your research and read reviews before making your selection. Think of your family’s needs and lifestyle when choosing from the broad variety of new designs. Toilets styles today range from the standard two-piece toilet to a one-piece. Also, your decision to go with a concealed base versus an integrated base style can effect your cleaning process, so be sure you understand what you are buying.
  • As you are probably aware, you can still choose from a round style seat or an elongated style seat. And though white is still the most popular toilet color, there are many other color options to consider, depending on the other materials used in your bathroom.
  • Seat height can also be a consideration. The majority of toilets sold are a standard 17-inch seat height, but there is also a “comfort height” available at 19 inches. These are beneficial particularly for anyone in your family who has problems getting into and out of sitting positions.

 

 

Giving a little thought and TLC to your toilet can prevent damage to your bathroom flooring and floor structure. So keep an eye out for small leaks, or movement of your toilet, to know when it’s time to replace your toilet and you’ll be more apt to avoid bigger and more expensive problems.

Freshen Your Garbage Disposal

Do you have a funky smell coming from around your sink?  Does it get especially bad overnight? You may need to freshen up yourdouble bowl stainless garbage disposal.  Food and gunk can collect in the intricate pieces that make up the disposal and lead to some pretty significant odors.  So, how can you brighten that up and make it smell fresh?  Deodorize!

Start by cleaning it up! Clean and sanitize your drain and disposal by using a disinfectant and abrasion tool.  This is really simple!  Put some large ice cubes down the drain, along with some salt and dish detergent.  Turn the water on and run the disposal.  The ice will serve as an abrasive when the blades slice the ice into bits and will sharpen the blades. The salt will also serve as an abrasive.  The detergent will disinfect any remaining gunk.

 Next, deodorize.  Start by boiling 4 quarts of water on the stovePlace baking soda in the disposal unit.  Let sit for a few minutes.  Turn on the disposal unit and add an equal amount of white vinegar to the drain.  The mixture will bubble up.  Follow with boiling hot water to clear any remaining residue.  Now your drains and disposal are completely clean.

 Finally, give it that fresh smell you love.  Cut lemons into quarters  and place in the drain.  Add a small amount of salt to act as an abrasive.  Feel free to leave them in there until you run the disposal again, or run the disposal for a shot amount of time until you can clear the lemons.  This will also work for limes.  The acid in the fruit will help to prevent future accumulation and build up.

Have a plumbing issue and need some help?  Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day.  If water runs through it – We Do It!

How to Choose a Dishwasher

Choosing a dishwasher is much easier (and a lot more fun) than in the past!GoGreenPlumbing

In the past, there were very limited options.  You basically could only choose which color you wanted. Now, options are endless it seems. Options include traditional dishwashers with basically just a “start” feature and to high-end options with sleek and smooth stainless steel fronts, dishdrawers, countertop models and even in-sink models for smaller loads.  So, with this bewildering array of choices how do you decide which model is right for you?

First, consider you dishwashing needs.  Large families, or people that enjoy cooking extensively, may opt for a more traditional type of dishwasher in stainless steel with adjustable racks that can accommodate larger pots.  Smaller families or those living in smaller spaces may opt for a countertop model or even dishdrawers that can wash smaller loads more frequently. 

Second, consider the aesthetic of your space.  If you prefer sleek , professional looking appliances the stainless steel models, and especially newer black stainless steel models that resist fingerprints, might be just the ticket.  If you like for your kitchen to look cohesive, you can purchase panels that match your cabinet fronts to attach to the front of the dishwasher.  This custom look is popular in high-end homes. 

Finally, decide which specific issues are important to you – cleaning delicate crystal, energy efficiency, noise level, heavy duty pot and pans cycle?  Different models are better at each of these functions of use.  With today’s open floor plans and kitchen-centric entertaining noise level has become increasingly important.  Similarly, energy efficiency is an important issue for many looking to reduce their ecological footprint and associate costs of operation.

Have a plumbing issue and need some help?  Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day.  If water runs through it – We Do It!