Thinking about installing a new water heater? What’s the most efficient water heater you can use in your home? When you are comparing water heaters, it’s more than choosing the least expensive system. You should also consider:
- What water heater will heat your water the most efficiently?
- How much water is wasted in order to have hot water in your shower?
- How long it will take to break even from the cost of the system?
If you have an older heater, purchasing a new one will instantly add energy efficiency to your system. From there, keep these things in mind:
Heating Water For Your Home
There are two basic options with a hot water heater: tank or tankless. A traditional water heater uses a tank to store hot water, to make it available to you when you turn on the faucet. A tankless water heater has no storage capacity, and instead heats the water as you need it. There isn’t a distinct advantage either way in cost savings of heating the water, as both take about the same amount of energy.
Instant Hot Water
With both the traditional and tankless water heater, hot water is not available instantaneously. Instead, you have to wait a few seconds to a few minutes for the pipes to drain and the hot water to reach your tap. The farther away your water heater is from your faucet, the longer the process takes. Using either system, the only efficient way to have instant access to hot water is to use a hot water circulation system.
Cost of a Water Heater
A water heater lasts on average 13 years. Because traditional water heaters are much less expensive than tankless water heaters, you may never be able to recoup the difference in the cost between the two systems. And because there isn’t a substantial savings in energy efficiency of heating the water, you may end up making a wiser choice with a traditional energy efficient water heater, and installing a hot water circulation system for instant hot water access.
This week we celebrated World Water Day, a campaign designed to
- raise awareness about sustaining healthy ecosystems and human well being through addressing the increasing water quality challenges in water management.
- raise the profile of water quality by encouraging governments, organizations, communities and individuals around the world to actively engage in proactively addressing water quality through pollution prevention, clean up and restoration.
World Water Day has been held every year in March since 1993, and has always been designed to bring attention to one issue or problem with the world’s freshwater supply. This year the focus is on water quality.
Water quality is defined by its end use. Water that is used for recreation, fishing, drinking and farming requires a higher level of purity than water use for things like hydropower. Unfortunately, throughout the world one of the biggest problems is untreated water, which ultimately affects both the human body, and the environment we live in.
Two of the biggest ways we can all help this growing problem is through water conservation, and green technology.
Here at Quality 1st Plumbing, we take “green plumbing” practices seriously. We were the first plumbing company here in Colorado to become certified as a Green Plumber, and work hard at finding the best ways to help you conserve and be more energy efficient.
If you would like an energy audit, and find out how you and your family can green up your home, we would be happy to work with you.
If you’ve been reading any type of home improvement magazine, or have been investigating green plumbing technologies, chances are you’ve heard of tankless or instantaneous water heaters. Are they really as good as some people make them out to be? Are they really the answer to our efficiency and conservation issues?
Like many new forms of technology, sounding good and being good are two different things.
In theory, an instantaneous water heater sounds like the perfect solution. Without a tank, you don’t have to keep a supply of water heated and in reserve for your use. Which ultimately should cost you less in standby energy costs.
In reality, this isn’t an accurate picture of what instantaneous water heaters do.
A typical family usually wants one of two things when they are looking at new water heaters. They don’t like to wait for the water to warm, wasting thousands of gallons of water during the process. And they want an ample supply of hot water, so it won’t run out during a shower.
The sad fact is an instantaneous water heater will not solve either of these issues. Depending on where the water heater is placed in your home, it still has traveling time from the heater to your shower. And the costs of heating doesn’t change – it just changes at what point you are heating it.
Add in the fact that instantaneous water heaters can cost as much as five times as a traditional water heater – costs that can rarely be made up over the average lifespan.
So what is the best option? We suggest a traditional water heater with energy efficiency in place, and add in a hot water circulation system. This allows you to purchase an affordable unit, and have the convenience of instant hot water at the same time.
It’s springtime in Colorado. Is your basement safe from moisture and flooding?
If not, it may be time to think about installing a basement sump pump.
Because the majority of homes here in the Denver metro area have basements, many are subjected to the risks of water damage as we thaw from the winter months, and begin watering our landscape and gardens.
Basement flooding is most often caused by water buildup in the soil. Especially with Colorado’s clay-like soil, it can only take so much before it makes your way into your basement. While there are many ways to work with your foundation and landscaping to prevent flooding, you may still be at risk. Some homes are in natural flood plains, or are located where the water table is equal or above the foundation of the home. In either case, a sump pump can be your last resort at preventing damage, and eliminate hundreds or even thousands of dollars of damage to your home and property.
Sump pumps are usually hardwired directly into the home’s electrical system, and run on a continual basis. In most cases they have a battery backup, to prevent flooding during emergency situations when the electricity may also be out. While you can choose from several different types of sump pumps, the important factor is to choose the right one to protect your property from damage. A plumber who works regularly with sump pumps can offer you the best suggestions, help you install it, and put you on a regular maintenance routine to keep your sump pump in good working condition.
The news is filled with cases of contractors that take your money, and never provide you with the service you contracted for. So how do you protect yourself against plumbing fraud?
1. Do your research
The quickest way to fall for a plumbing scam is to act quickly. The bigger the project, the more time you should spend researching the company you are about to hire. Never hire someone who is selling their services door to door, or who offers a big discount if you act fast and book now. Take a step back and think about your purchase. Does it seem to good to be true? Then research the company. With online tools readily available, you can quickly visit the company’s website, and check out the chatter on Google. Also check for references on local sites like Tom Martino’s troubleshooter network, and check with your local BBB. It’s better to spend a few extra days researching than to lose your money to a scam.
2. Ask for it in writing
A reputable plumbing service will be happy to write up a contract, and give you a guarantee in writing. Be cautious of long term or lifetime promises. Again think realistically. Is there any way a water heater can last a lifetime? If it seems to be too good to be true, it probably is.
3. Watch for red flags
In the contracting world, its easy to fall prey to a scam artist – the plumbing world is no different. Ask questions up front, and find out exactly how the plumber would react in certain situations.
- Who is in charge of obtaining permits?
- When are payments due?
- How quickly will the work be performed?
- What guarantees exist during and after the process?
The best way to get what you pay for is to be thorough in your investigation ahead of time.
Whether Colorado continues on with a dry spring, or we have a sudden spike in the amount of snow we receive, conservation is increasingly becoming a part of our vocabulary. It’s not about the day-to-day situation – it’s about how we conserve for a healthy future. If your goal is to conserve more and become aware of what you can do to help the environment, start with these green plumbing tips.
Start with the outside
In Colorado, a great deal of our water supply is pumped onto our lawns and into our gardens. Xeriscape is a popular way to plan out your garden. Yet most single family homes, parks and community space still value a green lawn. Instead of cutting your lawn short every week, move the blades up and leave your lawn an inch or two longer. A longer lawn means healthier grass that requires less water to keep it green.
Also abide by water guidelines, and water during the cooler parts of the day. By watering before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m., you’ll allow the water to penetrate into your lawn and garden, and give less chance for evaporation.
Also install moisture sensors to your sprinkler system. Only water when you’re lawn and gardens need it. Local water companies offer a variety of rebate programs for water conservation – make sure you check with them to save as much as you can.
Move to the inside
If you have an older home, you may have quite a few areas you can make improvements, and see major changes.
Start by replacing all of your appliances, faucets and fixtures. Front loading washing machines use up to 40 percent less water than their top loader counterparts. Low flow toilets can save hundreds of gallons of water each year. And replacing a showerhead with a new water conserving one can save hundreds of gallons of water each month.
To save money and be energy conscious doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend a lot of money in the process. Start with an energy audit, and find out all the ways you can save within your home. Then implement as you have the time and money. The goal of a green plumber is to assist you by helping you understand ways to conserve, and giving you the most effective ways to put those steps into place.
The more you learn, the more you’ll save over time. Start by requesting your own green plumbing analysis, and learn where you can make the biggest changes in your own home.
Trying to find a commercial plumbing service in Colorado? Commercial jobs come in all shapes and sizes:
- Remodeling your office, and putting in a kitchen area
- Changing the layout of a public bathroom
- Setting up a new restaurant
- Building a new apartment complex
While the types of plumbing work may change greatly from job to job, one thing will never change – the need for a quality plumber that can give you top-notch service, and let you spend your time on other concerns.
Having a professional plumber on hand can save you time and money, and make sure the job is completed correctly the first time.
As a restaurant owner, not only can he help you select the right equipment and install it correctly, he can also offer suggestions on the best layout for what you are looking for. By hiring a green commercial plumber, you can also get tips on how to conserve water and energy over time.
Your public bathrooms also speak highly of your business. A great set up and regular maintenance will help build your image for any of your customers.
Commercial requirements are different than residential. It’s important to find a plumber with experience as a commercial plumber, and understands the requirements and restrictions placed on commercial properties and buildings.
[Quality 1st Plumbing – helping you with all your residential and commercial plumbing needs. Have a problem? Have a question? Give us a call –we’d be happy to help.]
Chances are you never have thought about which plumbing company you’ll hire – until you need one in an emergency. If you live in Centennial Colorado, finding one close to home may be important; but what’s most important is finding a plumber who is reliable, trustworthy, and will get the job done correctly the first time.
If you are remodeling or installing a new water heater, you may have a chance to ask for referrals from family and friends. But what if you come home at ten o’clock at night to a burst pipe and a basement full of water? That changes things. You no longer have time to ask for referrals. You have a problem and you need help fast. That’s when its time to find a plumber based on quality, service, and guarantees.
Start with quality. Quality is making sure the job gets done the right way the first time. Is having the knowledge and the skills to know what to fix and how to fix it. Look for all these in the plumbing company you choose.
At ten o’clock at night with a broken pipe, immediate service is vitally important. You can’t wait until 9 the next morning. You need a plumbing company that can get there quickly, and fix your problem to get your family back on track.
Guarantees come in two ways. First, look at what guarantee the plumbing company offers. Do they stand behind their work? Second, see what others have to say about them. On our home page, we proudly display logos and links to some of the networks we belong to – the Better Business Bureau, Tom Martino’s Troubleshooter network, and our super service award from Angie’s list. We’re proud of what we offer – and we want you to check out our reputation on other sites. We even give you the links!
And when you have to make a quick decision when plumbing is the last thing on your mind, it’s nice to know you have someone you can depend on.
[Quality 1st Plumbing is a full service plumbing company in Centennial, helping you with everything from water heater installations, to home energy audits. We’re the premier green plumbing company in Colorado, helping our customers save and conserve wherever possible.]