Is this the season you make your home a little more energy efficient? If so, where should you put your focus? What’s the one area of your home that has the highest level of energy consumed? If you said you water heater, you are correct.

Your water heater accounts for 15 to 25 percent of the overall energy your home consumes. Which means its also the one appliance that can add up to real savings when you’re ready to make a change.how to save money with your water heater How To Save Money With Your Water Heater

It starts with your water heater … when was the last time you had it replaced? Water heaters today are much more energy efficient than even just a few short years ago. Yet beyond replacing it, there are other things you can do as well.

Lower the thermostat

Water heaters often come out of the factory with a high setting. For normal day to day use, setting it at 120°F will provide enough hot water for use, without heating it higher than the average person will ever use from the tap. Which means anything above 120°F is simply a waste of energy. Lowering your water heater by 10°F can add up to a savings of 3 to 5 percent over time.

Use cold water instead of hot to wash clothes

Instead of washing small loads of clothes, fill it up before starting the machine. And if you wash with cold instead of warm or hot, you can save energy too.

Repair leaks immediately

One of the biggest water wasters is a leak. Even if the drip is barely noticeable, it can quickly add up to a huge energy waster over time. If you see water when a faucet is turned off, or you hear a trickle of water, investigate and fix as soon as possible. It can also save you from more costly repairs down the road.

Insulate

Insulating your hot water pipes and your water heater tank will reduce heat loss and can help keep water temperatures up to 4 degrees higher than without. This also allows you to set your water heater at a lower temperature setting. Be sure to insulate pipes that are impacted by colder temperatures (outside wall plumbing), and cover pipes six feet from the connection to the water heater. Insulate the water heater tank as well, being careful not to cover the heater’s top, bottom , thermostat or burner compartment. When in doubt, call in one or our plumbing technicians for advice.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

The most popular water appliance in your home is the toilet, using on average up to 30 percent of the home’s total water usage every day. When it comes to water conservation and each of us doing our part, the most obvious place to start is with the toilet.

A single leak in a toilet can waste thousands of gallons of water every year. Not only is that costing you money, its wasting a precious resource as well. If conserving water starts with your toilet, where do you begin?

how to conserve water in a toilet tank How To Conserve Water In A Toilet Tank

Fix Leaks

The most obvious place to start is to fix leaks as they happen. However, toilets don’t always make noise when they leak. Drips and leaks are most often fixed by tightening fittings where two pipes meet, and where pipes join the tank. Be careful not to over-tighten, which may damage threads and the tank itself.

Flapper

The flapper is a valve that sits on top of the port that leads from the tank to the bowl. When the toilet is flushed, the valve opens and allows a certain amount of water into the bowl. Over time, the flapper wears out and begins to harden, making the seal not as pliable as it once was. The looser the fit, the more leaks and problems may occur. To test and see if you have a leak, insert a few drops of dye into the tank and wait to see if it appears in the bowl. If it does, your flapper is the cause of the leak. Simply replace the flapper to restore the water process back to normal.

Avoid The Toilet Dam

A common myth for water conservation is to fill the tank with bricks so water levels will be kept to a minimum. While it sounds good in theory, it can cause more harm than good. By filling your tank with bricks, it will allow chemicals and sediment to enter your toilet, and risk harming the internal parts of the toilet tank. It also poses the risk of cracking the tank during placement.

Upgrade

Instead, the best way to conserve water is to upgrade your toilet to a newer model. Older toilets use anywhere from 5 to 7 gallons of water with each flush. With newer models, you can reduce water levels down to 1.3 gallons per flush or even less with dual flush toilets. And in some cases, you may even qualify for a water rebate, depending on your county and your water system.

If you have any further questions about water conservation, we’d be happy to answer them, and provide you with the easiest way to save water within your home.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Did the latest cold snap leave you yearning for winter? Ready to pull out your skis and hit the slopes? While winter is one of the best seasons in Colorado, with so much to do and offer right in our own back yard, it can still catch you off guard if your home isn’t prepared.

The last thing we’re ever ready for is waking up, turning on the shower, and only having a cold stream facing us as we get ready for our day ahead.

getting your water heater ready for winter Getting Your Water Heater Ready For Winter

In order for your water heater to work properly year after year throughout its useful life, its important for you to maintain it along the way. There are three things that should be done in order to ensure your water heater keeps working as efficiently as possible throughout the year.

Insulate it

Where is your water heater? What condition does it live in month after month, year after year?

Poor insulation around your water heater not only robs you of money during the winter, it also robs your water heater from working as efficiently as possible. And therefore shortening its useful life. Insulating your water heater means that the heating elements do not have to work harder than normal or be used on a constant basis trying to keep your water warm. This can translate into lower operating costs year round. It can also translate to the parts in your water heater – your heating elements – lasting longer because they aren’t used on a continual basis.

Tune it up

Everything in life with moveable parts needs an occasional tune up to make sure it stays in good working condition. Your water heater is no exception. A tune up makes sure your water heater is ready for the upcoming season; to prepare it to give you the hot water you demand in any condition.

Many people use hot water more frequently in winter as a way of warming up from the bitter cold outside. Nothing feels as good as a steaming hot shower to help bring you back to warmth after playing outside in the cold. This is where your tune up can help. It may be something as simple as cleaning the unit, or it may mean replacing a part or two. In any case, a professional plumber can quickly assess the working condition of your water heater and make the necessary changes to ensure your water heater is in the best working condition possible for the months ahead.

Temperature

Depending on where your water heater is stored, the air temperature around your water heater can be 10, even 20 degrees cooler than the rest of the house. This may lead to colder water being delivered to the fixtures throughout your home. A simple way of increasing its efficiency is by moving the thermostat temperature up in the winter to ensure you have an adequate supply of hot water.

Have other questions about your water heater, water efficiency, or ensuring you have hot water throughout your home? Schedule a water heater tune up visit today.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Happy Birthday to you.

Have you ever learned the birthday song as a way to get your hands clean? That’s one of the tricks that is now being taught to children all over, giving them the skills they need to have clean hands and wash away harmful bacteria. Lather up and scrub your hands while you sing happy birthday, and you will have done your part to prevent the spread of germs.

That keeps you scrubbing, but what temperature water should you be scrubbing in?

should you use hot water for handwashing Should You Use Hot Water For Handwashing?

Common sense says hot water. But as humans, we can’t take water at a hot enough temperature to truly do any good. You see, major medical equipment is cleaned at a boiling temperature in order for sterilization. But if you washed your hands in water hot enough for sterilization, well, you probably wouldn’t be able to feel your hands. They would be red and blistered and would make you take an emergency trip to the ER.

So the next best thing to hot water is warm water, right? Think again.

Warm water actually makes you more vulnerable to germs and bacteria. It softens your hands and allows the germs to settle in rather than wash away.

Cold water is the solution. Cold water allows you both to save energy from not having to heat the water, and it allows the soap and the scrubbing to do their jobs more effectively.

With every handwashing you do, by letting the water run for seconds, even minutes to heat up, you are sending valuable resources down the drain. And it makes you more vulnerable to germs and bacteria. Small actions make big differences. So why not change your handwashing routine today.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Every appliance in your home is an investment in keeping your home running smooth and maintenance free. It makes life easier! And if you take care of each major appliance, they can last even longer than usual.

Not only is your washer an essential household appliance, its also one of the major contributors to water usage in your home. Investing in an energy efficient washing machine can help you save money from the beginning. There are also a few ways to make sure you keep you investment in good working order with these tips.

are you using your washing machine the right way Are You Using Your Washing Machine The Right Way?

Metal Can Damage

Those big, clunky zippers on sweaters, jackets and pants can be dangerous in your washing machine. They can snag delicate clothes, and quickly get caught in the drum of your washer, or even crack glass on front loading machines. Coins can act in a similar manner. To avoid problems, make sure you check all pockets before washing, and zip up zippers to their full position before adding a load of laundry to your machine.

Cold Water

One of the best ways to save energy is to wash with cold water. And by doing so, you also reduce shrinkage and fading in your natural fiber clothing. Yet cold water doesn’t keep your machine operating in top condition. A washing machine needs an occasional hot water cycle to remove mineral deposits and kill bacteria that may be sitting around. If you don’t wash with hot water on occasion, at least once a month run a hot water cycle with a cup of vinegar to give it a solid cleaning.

Too Much Detergent

Soap is good; too much soap isn’t. If you wash with too much detergent, a filmy residue will be left in your clothes, and it may cause damage to the control panel in your washing machine. Different types of detergents require different amounts of soap. Make sure you measure carefully and only use the recommended amount of detergent.

Too Much Laundry

While washing with small loads of laundry will waste energy and water, the opposite isn’t a good thing either. Washing with full loads is a good thing; over-stuffing can do more damage than good. It can put excessive wear on the suspension and the bearings, and actually prevent your clothes from being cleaned. Also remember that a full load of jeans is different from a full load of blouses. Check with manufacturers guidelines to load accurately.

Electricity Can Damage

Any appliance run by electricity can be damaged by a lightening strike or a severe power surge. Make sure your washing machine is grounded and is protected by installing a surge protector.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Its August! Time for the last hurrah of summer, a time when kids head back to school … and celebration time as its National Water Quality Month.

In 2005, the United Nations declared 2005 to 2015 to be an International Decade for Action celebrating Water For Life. During this decade, it continues to emphasize the importance of water quality on everything we do and as it relates to sanitation, human rights, geography, urbanization and sustainability.

celebrating national water quality month 2 Celebrating National Water Quality Month

Eutrophication – the incidence of high nutrient concentrations of phosphorus and nitrogen – is the most widespread water quality problem we face. Our water systems are carefully interlinked, and everything we do impacts other water projects down the line. When runoff from agriculture, forestry, construction and even our own personal homes and yards occurs, it has widespread effects not just on us personally, but on civilization throughout the world.

The Environmental Protection Agency has stated that 40 percent of the nations waterways suffer from water quality problems. They have detailed analysis on each watershed throughout the United States, which allows users to locate the watershed they live in and learn how polluted it is and what they can do to begin to protect it.

At a minimum, there are a few things you can do right now to begin protecting the water all around you.

  • Stop using antibacterial soaps and cleaning products
  • Stop flushing unwanted or out of date medications down the toilet or drain
  • Stop putting anything but water down storm drains
  • Fix car leaks immediately. Always place liners on driveways and garage floors to collect oil and other drippings, to prevent them from flowing into storm drains
  • Avoid using pesticides and chemical fertilizers on your lawn and landscaping
  • Choose only nontoxic household products
  • Pick up after pets and dispose of properly
sidebar coupons 250 Celebrating National Water Quality Month

Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

How much water do you think you use every day? Chances are your numbers are low. When people become aware of how much they use, its easier to find ways to reduce the amount of water, and conserve for a better future.

How many gallons of water does it take to flush a toilet?

According to Denver Water, the average gallons used per flush is 2.4. You can reduce water in two ways: flush less, or install a new toilet that uses even less water. This is especially important if your toilet was installed before 1996, when toilets used 3 or more gallons per flush. You can also consider a dual flush toilet, which allows you to choose the amount of water used depending on what needs to be flushed.

how much water do you think you use How Much Water Do You Think You Use?

How many gallons of water does it take to use the shower?

The average person uses about 16 gallons of water to take a shower. The most obvious way to cut down on shower water usage is to take shorter showers. You can also increase efficiency by installing a low flow showerhead. Make sure its labeled WaterSense, and it will save up to 20 percent over a more conventional showerhead.

How much water does it take to do a load of laundry?

The average clothes washer uses an average of 30 gallons per load. If you do one load of laundry per day, that can add up to a lot of water. To save, you can reduce the number of loads and make sure you always start the washer with a full tub. You can also look into purchasing a more efficient washer. By choosing an Energy Star washer, you will save up to 15 gallons of water per load, and will save on your energy bill as well.

These are the three largest water usage items a residential home will use during the year. Did you predict how much water you truly use?

That’s the first step in conserving. Start now by making a plan to do one or more things to reduce your water this year. All it takes is a little work from all of us to make a huge difference. Start today.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Want some advice from the premier green plumbing company right here in Colorado? Green up your home by reducing your carbon footprint.

A carbon footprint is a measurement of the impact your daily activities have on the environment. It measures the greenhouse gases you produce throughout your day. It takes into account how much you burn in fossil fuels for everyday energy consumption such as electricity, heating, air conditioning, manufacturing, transportation, and any other energy intensive activity you may use.

Why should we worry about greenhouse gases? These are the gases that accumulate in the earth’s atmosphere, and reduce the amount of available oxygen. They also produce a barrier around the earth that holds in the heat that would otherwise dissipate into space. Think of it this way. The more greenhouse gases we produce, the lower the quality of air we breathe and the greater the impact on our environment overall.

The most common greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. A carbon footprint is usually expressed in units of tons of carbon dioxide produced. Studies show that the average US citizen produces 2.87 metric tons per person, and the average US emissions is around 6 billion metric tons per year. That’s a lot of emissions filling up our atmosphere and leaving its mark on our planet!

how to reduce your carbon footprint 2 How To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Fortunately there are a number of things each of us can do right now to make a difference. We don’t have to give up all of our favorite activities or completely change the way we live. It just means we have to make smarter choices with the things we do everyday.

Drop your thermostat by 2 degrees from your normal level. Two degrees up in the summer and down in the winter can reduce your carbon footprint by as much as 2,000 pounds per year.

Use a low flow showerhead. The less hot water you use, the less energy is required to heat the water. If you shower everyday, this can reduce your carbon footprint by as much as 350 pounds per year per person.

Wash all of your clothes in cold water. Again, the more you reduce heating water for use, the more you can save. This can save up to 500 pounds per year.

Run your dishwasher less. Don’t start it at the end of every meal; instead wait until your dishwasher is completely full. Better yet, do things the old fashioned way and wash your dishes by hand.

Upgrade to EnergyStar appliances. All appliances that bare the EnergyStar label have been tested and certified to meet minimum energy efficiency standards. If an appliance that is just a few years old can have a huge impact on your carbon footprint, meaning you’re wasting more electricity than necessary.

Replace filters regularly. You know that furnace filter you haven’t changed in awhile? Its allowing your furnace to break down and become inefficient. Make it a regular practice to replace them a couple of times per year, and keep them running as efficiently as possible.

Watch your hot water heater. Keep it fully insulated and set the thermostat no higher than 120 degrees.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Happy Earth Day.

As the premier green plumber here in Colorado, we take sustainability seriously. Which is why we’ve been celebrating Earth Day every year since we opened our doors.

This year Earth Day is focusing in on Green Cities. In our modern times, more than have of the earth’s population lives in urban environment, and with that comes its own unique set of issues. Water, climate, energy and more is all impacted by the way we live.

We’re in this together, which means every one of us has to do our part.

earthday Quality 1st Plumbing Celebrates Earth Day 2014

Globally, buildings are responsible for one third of the greenhouse gas emissions. Here in the US, the impact is even greater with nearly 40 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions coming from both our commercial and our residential buildings. Why? Most buildings rely on dirty energy sources for power, and they aren’t using energy efficiently.

As a whole, we need to improve energy and water efficiency, as well as reduce waste and pollution. Not a small task, but one we can each take part in.

As a plumber, our number one concern is water sustainability. How can you be more efficient with the water you do use?

This Earth Day, start at the top.

The biggest water usage comes from your water heater. How old is it? How much water do you use? First, install a top of the line energy efficient water heater to help you save overall. Then consider a recirculating system that will ensure instant hot water from wherever and whenever you choose. Both will make a huge change in your overall water consumption.

Next, make sure you are using low flow fixtures throughout your home. Low flow faucets in your bathroom and kitchen will help you use as little water as possible during your daily routines. Low flow toilets will reduce your water consumption by hundreds or even thousands of gallons every year.

Then put your focus outside. How can you reduce the amount of water you use to keep your landscaping alive? Can you reduce the amount of grass in your yard in exchange for native plants? Also focus in on installing water saving drip and sprayers in your sprinkler system.

The more you do now, the more Earth friendly we’ll all be in the long run. Happy Earth Day!

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

What does the term “green” have to do with plumbing? How is a green plumber different from a more traditional plumber? Isn’t it all the same thing?

Yes, we understand that the concept of being a green plumber can be a little confusing. So to help you understand the differences, we thought we would provide you with just a few things we do differently in order to consider ourselves green plumbers.How Is A Green Plumber Different From A Traditional Plumber How Is A Green Plumber Different From A Traditional Plumber

Probably the most basic concept to start with is water. Plumbing is all about water. It’s the control of water throughout your home to allow you to do all the things you do every day.

A green plumber realizes that water is a finite resource, and that conserving water and building an energy efficient relationship with the way we approach living will not only help us save, but will improve our overall environment as well. Some facts for you to consider:

  • An average family of four will use approximately 115,000 to 175,000 gallons of water each year
  • One person flushes the toilet at home 2.5 times per day
  • By replacing a 5 gallon toilet with a low flow toilet, you can reduce water usage by 70 percent
  • For a family of four, low flow toilets could save 13, 392 gallons per year

While the toilet is a great place to start reducing water inside your home, its not the only place. There are many ways to reduce water usage.

  • Choosing ENERGY STAR approved appliances that ensure low water usage
  • Installing low flow shower heads that reduce the amount of water distributed per second
  • Replace all faucets with low flow sources
  • Use a recirculation system that allows you to have hot water on demand
  • Look for leaks throughout your home to reduce the amount of water being used

Many different options are available when you’re looking to conserve throughout your home. And while conserving does help the environment, it helps you too. Who doesn’t want to reduce their average water and electric bills, right?

In many cases green plumbing choices can be learned from reading online or even by doing things through trial and error. That’s how some plumbing companies approach it.

Not us. We realize the benefits of being a green plumber, and have certification and hundreds of hours of training in order to say we’re green plumbers – one of the first right here in the state of Colorado.

So if hiring a green plumber is important to you, hire one of the premier companies right here in Denver – Quality 1st Plumbing. We’re here to offer you the advice you need to help keep your home green.

sidebar coupons 250 How Is A Green Plumber Different From A Traditional Plumber

Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

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