As a custom home builder specializing in green building and high-performance homes, the month of April is extra special because it's when we celebrate Earth Day. In honor of the occasion, we wanted to talk about an important feature of energy-efficient homes: water conservation. While you may not associate water use with energy, it takes a lot of energy to pump, treat, store, and heat water for residential use.
The average U.S. household uses approximately 80-100 gallons of water per day. Crazy, right? This water use comes from a variety of appliances and home features, but two of the biggest culprits of water consumption are showers and toilet flushing. Compared to other water wasters such as laundry and dishwashing, showers and toilets consume the largest percentage of heated water in the home. Luckily, consumers have become more conscious of how much water they use from day-to-day. Innovations in energy-efficient appliances and smart technology have made it easier to conserve water, which has carried over to the home building industry and the construction of high-performance homes. Using high-performance home design practices, Hibbs Homes makes it a point to make efforts to improve water conservation in the homes we build.
Smarter Plumbing Practices
High-performance home building utilizes smart design practices to make homes run more efficiently. One of the biggest ways high-performance homes reduce water waste is by shortening the distance from water heaters to showers and faucets, which saves on energy costs. In turn, shortening this distance also saves on the cost of piping and labor during construction.
Low Flow Showerheads & Toilets
We also install "low flow" shower heads in all of our homes. With advances in showerhead design, these shower heads do a much better job of aerating the water to add pressure. Though it feels as if you are using the same amount of water as a normal showerhead, you are actually using much less. This simple swap can reduce water consumption by up to 40%! In addition to low flow showerheads, high-performance homes focus on water conservation by installing high-efficiency toilets. These toilets are designed to significantly improve water consumption without sacrificing functionality. Homeowners can easily reduce water waste without it impacting their daily lives.
Improved Plumbing Features
Another feature that helps to reduce water waste is high-efficiency fixtures such as motion-sensing faucets, which ensure the water is shut off when not in use. Hot water recirculating pumps also play a role in water conservation. These pumps are designed to provide instant hot water by creating a loop from the water heater back to its destination and prevents water from sitting in the pipes.
As our population grows, many of our natural resources have begun to decline. Making an effort towards water conservation is important, and we should all do our part to reduce water waste. If you are considering building a high-performance home, we'd love to help! Contact the Hibbs Home team today to speak with one of our green home building experts!