Sunday, April 5, 2009

Water Efficiency

When we talk about Water Efficiency, there are several areas of the home that are integral in addressing the issue. The installation of an On Demand/Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater is one of the easiest ways to conserve water. As described by their name, on demand / tankless water heaters have no storage tank for hot water. A heating element heats water only when there is a demand for hot water—i.e. when someone turns on a hot water faucet. Since these water heaters have no stand-by losses (heat loss out the walls of the storage tank), they have higher efficiency—typically 10% to 20% higher than storage-tank water heaters. Tankless models have additional advantages: they take up less space, they can be installed outside in Austin's climate (solving the venting problem) and they last longer because they are less susceptible to mineral scaling. Tankless models have a life-expectancy of 15—25 years, whereas storage models last only 5—15 years, depending in part on how they are maintained.

Another area that consumes a large amount of water is the irrigation of the landscaping. By installing an irrigation system with a time based controller, the irrigation system, will reduce water usage, protect landscape and hardscape investments, and achieve affordable, sustainable water management. Your system will place exactly the right amount of water on specific lawn and garden areas so that water is not wasted. We also install moisture-sensing devices that can automatically turn off your system when it rains. In our Parade Home, we are planning on installing an EvapoTranspiration or ET Smart Irrigation Controller that regulates the irrigation based on the weather. The controller is connected to a weather satellite and modifies when and how much water is applied to the lawn based on local weather data in conjunction with information about the landscaping materials. Over-watering is eliminated because each zone of your property is monitored independently according to your customized profile. Wind waste is also eliminated when the controller stops watering until high winds subside.

The inclusion of Low Flow/Dual Flush High Efficiency Toilets also offer significant water savings. Typical products use 1.6 gallons at the full flush and 0.8-0.9 gallons at the low flush. One manufacturer estimates that a typical family of four will save approximately 7,000 gallons of water per year with this toilet, compared with a standard 1.6 gallon-per-flush toilet.

1 comment:

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