Sometimes it’s the simple things we do that matter the most.
By changing the way we do things around the house, we can quickly begin to see a difference. Did you know computers and other electronics use up to 10 percent of the electrical supply of an average home? And these items still use electricity even when they aren’t turned on?
Or did you know that even the smallest of drips from your kitchen or bathroom sink can waste thousands of gallons of water throughout a one month cycle? You can quickly afford a new faucet with the amount you’ll be paying for wasted water.
Here are some other simple ways to save water around your home.
- Check for leaks both indoors and outdoors. It’s easy to spot a leaking faucet. It’s harder to locate a tiny whole in a pipe or hose. Look for puddles around appliances or along your foundation. Look for green, lush areas in your lawn. Or watch for sudden spikes in your water usage. All can be a sign of a leak. One little leak may not seem like much, but over time, it becomes a costly problem for both you and the environment.
- Upgrade older items in your home with water efficient models. Installing low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucets can help reduce the amount of water used over time, and can quickly pay for itself out of the savings.
- Be conscious of how long you use a water supply. Shorten the time it takes for you to take a shower. Turn off the water while soaping your hands or brushing your teeth. Rinse dishes and vegetables in a tub of water instead of letting the water run. Even cutting down by a minute each day can help add up to reducing your water consumption by a lot.
- Only run appliances like the dishwasher and washing machine when they’re full. Some appliances do have small load or low water settings – use these to set the water levels to accommodate smaller loads.
- Sweep off your sidewalk and driveway instead of hosing it off. Turn off the hose while soaping up the car.
- Consider insulating water pipes. It will help water from losing its heat while being transferred to you, and will prevent the chance of freezing during the cold winter months.
Whether you are in the process of buying a water heater because of an emergency, or are looking to upgrade before the emergency happens, wouldn’t it be nice if you could save money in the process?
One of the ways Colorado is helping out its residents to become more efficient every day is through rebate programs. The Colorado Governor’s Energy Office is offering rebates to homeowners who purchase and install certain energy efficient appliances, heating equ8ipment and weatherization materials.
To be eligible for the rebate, you must uninstall and recycle the old equipment, and properly install the new equipment that meets the standards. Rebates are good on equipment purchased after April 19, 2010, and while funds are available.
To learn more about the rebates available to you, visit Recharge Colorado.
Plumbing is the one industry we think little of, yet use the most throughout our busy days. If its working as it should, the world is good. Yet when it quits working or causes a problem, we quickly are reminded of how well we rely on this modern day convenience.
While plumbing may never be considered sexy or a topic of choice, it is moving up on the list of ways to improve our world. Commercial plumbing, specifically, is rapidly becoming the darling of government projects, business owners, and public facilities such as libraries and airports. Why? The answer lies in its cost savings potential. Savings on energy costs is vital to the future sustainability of business and governmental agencies. Additionally, there are federal government regulations that identify energy saving measures the business community must adhere to.
Commercial plumbers are major players in the green movement and will subsequently save businesses millions of dollars through the installation of energy saving toilets, urinals, and faucets, and other green technology that can help us eliminate waste. Whether you are a large corporation or a small home business, you can make changes today that will help cut costs and save energy. Here are some questions you need to ask a commercial plumber before considering the company for an important project.
1. Do you specialize in commercial projects?
There are big differences between residential and commercial plumbing projects. Make sure the company you are interviewing has the experience.
2. Are you insured and certified?
It’s important to understand what they are capable of and what knowledge base they have coming into your project.
3. Do you have on-going programs or plans?
While most residential plumbing jobs are one time projects, commercial projects require on-going maintenance. Ask about discounts for long term commitments, and work to build a relationship in which you both are concerned with water and energy savings.
4. Ask for references from previous customers.
Nothing speaks louder than a great referral. While you may not be able to get a hold of a large business owner, checking online and through various referral sites can build a pretty good character reference for the company you are considering.
5. Do you have training in green technology?
While everyone speaks of energy and water saving tactics, only select plumbers have certification in green technology. Extensive training is needed to truly understand what is possible, and what will work in certain situations.
6. What’s your guarantee?
Most reputable commercial plumbers want you to be happy with their services. Find out if the company offers a guarantee and what the policy is in case of problems or questions.
7. Understand timing and scheduling.
If you have a large project, it’s important to stay on track. When will the work be completed? What if it goes over the timeframe scheduled or over budget? What checkpoints exist along the way to keep both sides informed?
The more you ask and understand up front, the easier it will be to keep your commercial plumbing project on track.
Do you like to do your research and have a plan in place before a problem hits? Is your water heater moving along in years, and you’re starting to wonder if it makes sense to replace sooner rather than later? Start by asking a plumber some basic questions about new water heaters.
How many years of use can I expect from a water heater?
It all depends on the type of water heater you have. Different water heaters have different life expectancies. Where you live, how often its used, water quality, and many other factors also play a role in the life of a water heater. Typically a tank water heater will last 10 to 15 years. If you are approaching the 10 to 15 year mark, installing a new water heater can also give you assurance of not having a crack or lead in the near future, it can also allow you to explore newer, greener options.
What are my water heater options?
Do any type of search for a new water heater and you’ll find you have two options: conventional storage tanks and tankless water heater. The tank type of water heater is still an ideal choice for residential use in some circumstances, and can offer many benefits over tankless water heater options. It may also be time to look at a third option – hybrid water heaters. Your local plumber can show you how each will perform in your home, and what will give you your biggest benefits for your lifestyle.
What is the best capacity to choose for a new water heater?
When you think about capacity of a water heater, more than likely you are thinking about the availability of hot water. How much hot water will be available to you at any point during the day?
A typical tank water heater will hold 40 to 80 gallons of hot water, ready for you when you need it. Tankless water heaters promise to deliver hot water on demand, but how much hot water is available to you still depends on the size of the tankless water heater and how much demand it has. Hybrid water heaters are now giving you another option in how much hot water will be available to you as you demand it. Talk about your needs and requirements with your local plumber, and they can give you the best option for your lifestyle.
How much will it cost?
Though you may be looking for green options, one of the major factors for choosing a new water heater will undoubtedly by cost. If you have no idea how much it normally costs, you can ask your plumber for an estimate. You can also judge it by your expectations. Is going green more important to you than cost? Will you be moving within the next few years? Everyone has his or her own needs and desires. Your local plumber can help you assess your choices with your requirements, and help you make the best choice for you.
Some things in your home are easy to ignore – until you have a problem. And at the top of the list its easy to find a sump pump.
“What is it?” and “Why do I need one?” are only the beginning of the most commonly asked questions about sump pumps. Especially in Colorado, where we know we live in a predominantly dry area, do we really need to worry about flooding in our home’s basement or crawl space?
Yes. Even though we live in a dry climate, our local communities are filled with underground water tables and rivers. If communities are built too close to a water table, you could be living with moisture in your basement every year, especially in the years we do have higher than average snow and rainfall.
What exactly is a sump pump and what is its purpose? Sump pumps are electrical pumps that are usually located in basements to drain water out in case of flooding. In areas where flooding is common, the pump is generally located below the water line or may be placed below the sewer line. The main goal is to eliminate the possibility of water overflowing into your living areas, and prevent damage to your personal property and assets. Even an inch of standing water can be detrimental in a finished basement with furniture and carpeting.
How should I maintain my sump pump? Typically sump pumps will operate up to a period of five years maintenance free. Yet it’s important to check them yearly, especially before rainy seasons, or times of the year when you are more susceptible to flooding. Cleaning the sump pit (the hole dug into the ground to collect water) from debris will keep the pump working in most cases. Dirt, sand, and gravel may accumulate within the pump itself, clogging the pump to the point of making it inoperable. A routine check by a plumber can give you piece of mind.
What choices do I have in sump pumps? Generally speaking, there are two types of sump pumps. The pedestal style pump sits in an upright position on top of the sump pit. The advantage of a pedestal sump pump is it can be easily seen and maintained. The second type of sump pump is called a submersible sump pump, which is located down inside the sump pit. It’s usually enclosed in a sealed housing unit to prevent electrical short circuits when water collects in the pit. Ask your plumber what’s the right choice for you.
What do you think of when you hear the word plumber? In today’s world, fixing toilets and repairing frozen pipes barely scratch the surface of the services a plumber can provide.
Today’s plumbing companies have evolved into a high tech industry that can help you prevent problems before they happen. They can make suggestions to help you save money and energy, and go green in the process. Especially in commercial plumbing where time is money, having a high tech friend can be a big plus for any business model.
Whether you are a property manager for a small apartment complex, own multi-story office buildings in the Tech Center, or operate a large health care facility, a commercial plumber can help you stay on top of your plumbing needs. Want an energy audit to determine where you are using the most water? Your plumber can help. Want continual service to make sure your bathrooms are in top shape? Your plumber can help. Want to begin installing green technology throughout your business? Your plumber has the solutions.
As with any project, the best place to start is at the beginning. When was the last time you updated your most common features, such as toilets and faucets? One leaky faucet can waste several gallons of water per day. Multiply that by several faucets per bathroom, and several bathrooms per building, and it can quickly add up to a big problem with large costs.
The same holds true with a leaky toilet. One leaky toilet can lose hundreds of gallons of water per week. Leave it non-repaired for an extended period of time, and your leak can quickly escalate into a bigger problem that affects your flooring, wallboards, and even potentially other rooms surrounding the bathroom.
And if you haven’t replaced faucets or toilets in a few years, even without a leak you could be wasting thousands of gallons of water per week simply with daily use. Green technology means updating and using the latest equipment designed to work more efficiently at less cost and waste.
Commercial plumbing is different than residential – we all choose to maintain our homes at a higher level because we know and see the benefits. But in a commercial venues, its easy to ignore the benefits of upgrading. Yet that’s where “going green” can do the most good.
Stop wondering how you can do your part, and ask about alternatives. A simple energy audit from your commercial plumber can show you ways to quickly save on money and energy, and go green in the process.
“My water heater is getting old, and I’m thinking of replacing it before it goes out on me. I’ve been looking at all the options, and the hybrid water heater looks appealing. How can I find a hybrid water healer dealer here in Denver?”
Here in Denver, you have a lot of choices. There are many different plumbers to choose from, many companies that offer water heater replacement, and a variety of companies touting everything from tankless and beyond. How do you know who to trust?
Start by looking for a company with two things:
2. Knowledge in green technology
A company that specializes in one type of water heater – tankless or otherwise – will be interested in promoting that type of technology. You will hear only the good from that product line, and why all other products don’t work.
A plumber that specializes in providing you the best value for your money will give you your options, and show you the value of each option. They have an interest in saving you money, and making sure you are happy with your final selection.
A plumber that has years of experience knows and understands how things work, how its progressed over time, and what will give you the best investment for your future. They may be able to offer you different products that can give you the results you are looking for at a cost you can afford.
Only a handful of plumbers are truly working towards giving you green solutions. Not only do they look at the latest crazes or advice circulating online, they also evaluate how well it will work here in Denver, taking into account our climate and weather conditions. Can something withstand a couple of weeks of bitter cold, and perform just as effectively in the heat of the summer?
With the newest hybrid water heaters, you really can have full efficiency, green technology, and value for your money. Hybrid water heaters are efficient for the Colorado climate, and will give you all you are looking for when its time to replace your next water heater.
We all have the need to call a plumber at one point or another. In many cases calling a plumber means the sink or toilet are plugged and fixing the problem is relatively simple. However, not all problems are simple and clear cut. There are large, labor intensive problems that pop up and require a full service plumber immediately.
Such is the case with sewer services. A simple back up of a toilet or downstairs drain quickly escalates into a huge problem.
Sewer lines can be blocked by a variety of things. Plumbers are best known to “snake” the line by inserting a long flexible wire into the pipes until the obstruction is removed. But it doesn’t stop there. Plumbers also use closed circuit cameras as a routine part of their business, and no longer have to guess where the problem is – they can pinpoint its exact location. They can identify blocks in the sewer lines deep below city streets and driveways, or beneath your overgrown landscaping without having to dig or drill.
Plumbers also install and repair equipment related to the sewer system. Have a new construction project under way? Consult with a plumber to get the sewer system installed during the process. Have a home reconstruction? A plumber can help there too, and provide advice on the most effective way to install top-notch plumbing materials.
Have an older home? A plumber can help keep it in top working condition. A plumber will start by locating roots growing inside the sewer line, and will not only locate where roots may cause a block in the line, but also have the tools and expertise to fix the problem.
Worried about rusty, broken, and leaking pipes? All are a part of a plumber’s job description. Concerned about the affects of frozen pipes during the winter months? If the problem goes ignored, flooded out basements, cracked drywall and flooring, and sewage backups may result. These are all unpleasant and expensive problems to correct, but a good plumber is able to keep the problems under control and save homeowners a great deal of money in the process.
Owning your own home is probably the largest, long-term financial investment you’ll ever make. When times are good, its easy to hire people to help you maintain your home. But when the economy tightens, the purse strings begin to tighten as well, making some homeowners try more do-it-yourself repairs instead of hiring professional contractors to complete repair work. While some repair jobs are perfectly safe in the hands of an ambitious homeowner, others are still best left to the professionals.
Plumbing involves two separate pieces: the hardware you can see and is easily visible, and the hardware that’s not. It’s easy to see your bathroom faucet dripping, but what isn’t easy to see is where the problem lies. What a homeowner sees as a small leak pooling around the base of a faucet may actually be a symptom of a much larger problem. The majority of plumbing hardware is placed within walls or floors. Not only are such pieces inaccessible to the average homeowner, but a DIY repair job could place other internal systems, like your electrical system, at risk.
Professional plumbing services employ certified plumbers who have received training in all areas of plumbing, and often have extensive plumbing knowledge based on years on the job. A certified plumber will have credentials directly from the state to ensure that he meets certain qualifications, and to give you piece of mind that he is responsible and can handle the job. Plumbing companies adhere to strict standards for their safety and yours.
Professional plumbing services also hold insurance that protects both plumbers and homeowners from damage due to unexpected problems with repairs. If a homeowner attempts a plumbing repair without the help of a professional and accidently causes additional damage, homeowners’ insurance may not cover the added cost.
Many professional plumbing services also offer warranties for service. If a repaired problem resurfaces or a repair fails, a reputable company will return to assess the damage and work until the job is complete and you are satisfied.
A professional plumbing company is an expert in the field. Not only can they help you with your plumbing problems, they are also a resource. They know what fixtures are the best and most durable, and know where to find them at the best cost. From ordering special parts to working with a network of fellow plumbers to solve any problem, no matter how big or small, a professional plumber is an important part of your maintenance team.
When it comes to saving time and money, hiring a professional plumber is your best long term investment.