Burlington Plumbing Upgrades: Improving Efficiency and Saving Energy

August 7, 2023by Precise Plumbing

Are you sick of your ever-increasing utility bills and the water you waste thanks to your aging plumbing? Take matters into your own hands and learn about the life-changing effects of installing state-of-the-art plumbing upgrades. 

Burlington provides a wide variety of state-of-the-art plumbing fixtures, from stylish low-flow toilets and water-saving faucets to tankless water heaters and whole-house filtration systems. 

Come explore with us the world of environmentally friendly plumbing systems that cut your costs and improve the world for generations to come. It’s time to renovate your Burlington, Vermont, home and enjoy the ensuing cost savings and conveniences.

What Causes Energy Losses In Pipes?

Most energy loss in lines comes from friction losses and minor losses. Because of the viscous forces between the fluid and the pipe sides, friction losses happen. The amount of friction losses depends on how thick the fluid is. Thicker fluids cause more friction losses. Friction losses are also caused by how rough the pipe walls are. Rougher walls make it harder for water to run through.

Minor losses happen at places where the flow direction or area changes, like bends, valves, and joints. These changes stop the fluid from moving smoothly and cause more energy to be lost. Even though minor losses are usually smaller than friction losses, they can add up when there are a lot of parts in a system.

The viscosity of the fluid, the roughness of the pipe walls, the width of the pipe, the flow rate of the fluid, and the presence of bends, valves, and fittings are all things that can cause energy loss in pipes. More energy is lost in the system when it has a higher viscosity, rougher walls, a smaller pipe diameter, a higher flow rate, and more joints.

Engineers can do a number of things to make lines lose less energy. These include using fluids with low viscosity, making sure the pipe walls are smooth, using bigger pipe diameters, slowing the flow rate of the fluid, and reducing the number of bends, valves, and fittings. By taking these things into account and designing systems properly, engineers can make pipe systems work as well as possible and lose as little energy as possible.

Moreover, plumbing can affect electricity bills in other ways. This can include the following:

1. Hot water leaks

Leaks from an electric water heater that let hot water out are common plumbing problems that can cause your power bill to go up. If the temperature and pressure release valve is leaking, the water heater may run all the time, which will use more energy and cost more. Leaky inlet and outlet connections or lines that don’t work right can also cause hot water to leak. This problem can be avoided with regular maintenance, like draining the water heater and looking for leaks.

2. Water efficiency

The manner in which water is used in a household can have a significant impact on electricity bills. For example:

  • Washing Dishes: Water and electricity can be wasted if you run the dishwasher when it’s not full. About six gallons of water and a lot of power are needed for each load of dishes. By using the dishwasher less often and waiting until it is full, you can use less water and save money on energy costs.
  • Taking Long Showers: When you stay in the shower for a long time, the water heater has to heat up more water, which uses more power. By taking shorter showers and thinking about getting a showerhead with less water flow, you can save both water and power.
  • Overwatering the Lawn: When sprinklers are used too much or certain areas are watered too much, it wastes water and causes power bills to go up. Keeping track of how often and how long you use your sprinklers and looking into more efficient irrigation methods like drip irrigation can help you waste less water and energy.

By fixing hot water leaks and using water more efficiently, you can use less energy than you need to and save money on electricity costs.

3. Old or inefficient appliances

Because they use more energy than newer, more energy-efficient models, old or inefficient home appliances can cause your power bill to go up. 

Many products are to blame for these high energy costs. First of all, refrigerators or freezers are a big problem. They use more than half of the energy in the kitchen and about 10% to 20% of the total electricity bill for a home. By getting newer, more energy-efficient refrigerators, you can save electricity. 

The second most expensive energy cost is for water heaters, and older types use more energy than newer ones. You can save up to $30 per year by replacing them with newer, more efficient models like portable, gas-condensing, or heat pump water heaters. 

In the same way, central air conditioning systems use a lot of energy to cool and heat a home, and older units are less energy efficient than newer ones. By replacing old air conditioners with ones that use less energy, you can save a lot of money. 

Even though furnaces last a long time, they may not work as well over time. By upgrading to a newer heater, you can save up to $75 per year and heat your home better. 

Lastly, washing machines, especially older ones, use a lot of water and electricity. Modern washing machines that work well use less water and energy, which keeps costs down. 

Keeping an eye out for high-efficiency labels, Energy Star ratings, and good maintenance and usage habits can help improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and protect the environment.

4. Poorly insulated pipes

Heat loss from pipes that aren’t well insulated can cause energy bills to go up. When hot water is moved through pipes that don’t have insulation, the heat from the water spreads out into the surroundings. Because of this, the water loses heat and needs more energy to be raised to the right temperature over and over again.

To stop this loss of performance and cut down on energy costs, the pipes of the water heater should be properly insulated. Insulation helps keep heat from escaping when hot water moves from one place to another. This means you can set the temperature on your water heater lower without sacrificing comfort when you take a shower, wash your hands, or do the dishes. By lowering the temperature by just a few degrees, you can save a lot of money on energy costs. Energy.gov says that a 5-degree drop in the temperature of the hot water tank can save up to 5% on the water bill.

Some homes can save even more money by insulating their pipes because of the way they are built. Larger homes that need to move hot water farther around the house will benefit from less heat loss. In the same way, families that use a lot of water and need to put more energy into their water heaters can save a lot of money. Also, homes in cooler areas lose more heat because the cold air cools the hot water pipes quickly. This means that these homes would benefit more from insulation. Also, insulation can save a lot of money if the home uses expensive fuel sources, like power, in places where energy prices are going up.

By properly insulating hot water lines, heat loss can be cut by up to 33%. This means that your home will use less energy and you will pay less for electricity.

5. Faulty thermostat

In several ways, a broken thermostat can cause your electricity price to go up. First of all, if the thermostat is not set or adjusted correctly, it may turn on the air conditioner or heater more often than it should. Because the system is always running, it uses more energy, which causes the power bill to go up.

Second, a thermostat that isn’t set right can make the system turn on the heat or air conditioning when it shouldn’t. This wastes energy and costs more money.

The thermostat’s sensitivity can also be affected by where it is placed. If it is put in a place with extreme temperatures, like near a drafty door, an area with too much sunlight, an exterior wall, or the kitchen, it may give wrong readings that don’t match the real temperature of the whole house. Because of this, the system may run more often or for longer periods of time, which uses more energy and raises the cost of power.

Also, if the thermostat is near a heat source, like a floor lamp, it may feel the heat and turn on the air conditioner when it shouldn’t, which wastes energy.

A broken or faulty thermostat can also cause the system to turn on and off often, which wastes energy and makes the system less efficient.

Even if the boiler in a central heating system runs on gas or diesel, the electric pumps that move water around the system need power. If the thermostat isn’t working right, these pumps will run more often and for longer periods of time. This will use more electricity and raise the heating bill.

In short, a broken thermostat can make it hard for your heating and cooling systems to work right, which can cause you to use more energy and pay more for electricity. Regular maintenance, calibration, and making sure the thermostat is in the right place can help avoid these problems and save energy.

How Can You Increase The Energy Efficiency Of A Home Plumbing System?

The following are some ways in which a household plumbing system might be made more energy efficient:

1. Check for leaks

Be sure to check for leaks in your plumbing system on a regular basis and address them right away. Fixing leaks can help save money by preventing the waste of water and power.

2. Upgrade appliances

Think about upgrading to more modern, energy-efficient appliances in place of your old, inefficient ones. The same goes for appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, and water heaters. Appliances with the Energy Star label are tested and certified to use much less energy without sacrificing performance.

3. Insulate pipes

When water pipes are insulated, less energy is required to heat the water, preventing heat loss during the transfer process. Use foam insulation or pipe wrap to insulate both the hot and cold water supply lines.

4. Install a tankless water heater

Tankless water heaters heat water as needed, so they don’t need a tank to store hot water. They can use less energy than standard tank water heaters, which heat and store water all the time.

5. Use low-flow fixtures

Install taps, showerheads, and toilets that use less water without affecting how well they work. We’ll show you the best energy-saving fixtures later. For now, if you’re in urgent need of fixture installation services for your Burlington home, our team of plumbers is ready to help with your plumbing upgrades!

6. Practice water conservation

Reduce the length of your showers, switch the water off while you shave or brush your teeth, and quickly address leaky faucets. These routines lessen wastage, which in turn lessens the demand for energy to heat and pump water.

7. Regular water heater maintenance

The efficiency of your water heater can be increased by flushing it on a regular basis to remove sediment accumulation. Homeowners who schedule annual inspections of their water heaters can help keep those appliances running smoothly and for as long as possible. 

Keeping up with scheduled maintenance will help your water heater last for more than a decade, as opposed to the five to seven years it might endure if you don’t take care of it. By removing the silt and mineral buildup that forms in the tank over time, regular maintenance improves energy efficiency and so reduces both short-term and long-term costs. 

Leaks are also less likely to occur when water heaters are serviced regularly because experts can spot early warning signs of damage or leaks and fix them before they cause major problems. 

Additionally, by flushing the tank to remove sediments and impurities, routine maintenance improves water quality, leading to cleaner and better-tasting hot water. 

Having your water heater serviced periodically ensures that you will always have hot water available when you need it. A competent expert will check for leaks and damage, set the thermostat, cleanse the tank, evaluate the anode rod’s health, check the operation of the valves, and clean the exterior during a maintenance service. 

You should get your water heater serviced once a year, or more often if recommended by the manufacturer. You may save money on repairs or replacements and yet have a water heater that works efficiently and reliably if you invest in routine maintenance.

Top Energy-Saving Plumbing Upgrades

Improvements to a home’s plumbing system that use less energy are good for the environment, the wallet, and the bottom line. Explore the top five plumbing upgrades that save the most energy:

1. Dual Flush Toilets

There are two flushing choices available on a dual flush toilet, allowing for greater control over water consumption. You should use a full flush for trash and a half flush for liquids. These commodes save a lot of water and money because they only need a small amount of water each time you flush.

The WOODBRIDGE T-0019 Cotton White Toilet is one of the best and most popular dual flush toilets in Burlington. The toilet’s one-piece design makes it simple to set up and clean. Because there are no cracks or gaps between the individual pieces, cleanliness is increased and upkeep is simplified.

The ability to choose between two different flushing options helps conserve water. To accommodate different types of waste, both a 1.0 GPF and a 1.6 GPF flush are available. You can use less water while flushing liquid waste and more when flushing solid waste, which is good for the environment.

The siphon flushing technology in the toilet guarantees a forceful and efficient flush, clearing the bowl thoroughly after each use. The toilet bowl will always be spotless and sanitary thanks to its flushing system. This is definitely one of the best plumbing upgrades.

Individuals with mobility challenges, in particular, would appreciate the comfortable height design of the toilet. Because of the elevated design, it may be used by people of varying heights and physical abilities.

The WaterSense label means that the WOODBRIDGE T-0019 Cotton White Toilet has been tested and found to be in compliance with stringent EPA guidelines for water efficiency. The toilet’s efficiency in conserving water without sacrificing performance has been verified by this accreditation.

2. Low-Flow Faucets

Water consumption can be lowered without affecting fixture performance by installing low-flow fixtures equipped with aerators or pressure-compensating devices. Installing low-flow fixtures like faucets and showerheads can reduce water use by 10–15%, which is beneficial for the environment and the economy.

For low-flow kitchen faucets, Grohe Minta Dual-Spray Kitchen Faucet is our top choice. The EcoJoy technology built into the faucet can cut water usage by as much as half without sacrificing performance. This water-saving innovation satisfies the EPA’s WaterSense standards for efficiency. The faucet’s 1.75 gallons-per-minute (gpm) flow rate ensures economical use of water.

For bathroom faucets, we recommend the Moen 6410 Eva Two-Handle Centerset Bathroom Sink Faucet. The WaterSense label guarantees that the faucet uses 1.5 gallons of water per minute (gpm) or less, as required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This seal guarantees efficiency while reducing water usage. The water pressure is maintained while using less water thanks to the faucet’s aerated stream. This reduces the consumption of both water and power. If this isn’t one of the top plumbing upgrades, we don’t know what is.

3. Greywater Systems

By implementing a greywater system, you can collect and disinfect water that isn’t fit for human consumption. While the former targets individual fixtures, greywater can be collected by both point-of-use and whole-house systems. By reusing this water for purposes like irrigation and toilet flushing, homeowners can significantly reduce their water consumption and water expenditures.

If you want pure water throughout your home, go no further than the iSpring WGB32B 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System. In order to purify your water source, the system employs a three-stage filtration procedure. With this system, you may rest assured that the water you drink is free of harmful silt, chlorine, chloramines, volatile organic compounds, rust, pesticides, herbicides, industrial solvents, and other organic contaminants.

The system’s maximum flow rate of 15 gallons per minute guarantees constant water pressure and usage throughout your home.

When it comes to whole-house water filtration systems, the iSpring WGB32B 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System is hard to beat. It efficiently filters out harmful substances, giving you and your family pure water for bathing, watering plants, washing your car, and all your other everyday needs.

4. Low-Flow Toilets

In comparison to standard toilets, low-flow models waste significantly less water with each flush. The average flush volume for these toilets is 1.6 gallons, resulting in significant water savings and less water waste. Installing a low-flow toilet in your home is a smart investment because it helps conserve water.

TOTO’s Ultramax II One-Piece Toilet Set is the pinnacle of modern plumbing technology and style. Why do we think this is one of the best plumbing upgrades? Forget about spending hours cleaning inaccessible areas. The TOTO Ultramax II is designed to be easily cleaned and germ-free because of its seamless construction, which leaves no crevices for debris to accumulate. 

Tornado Flush is a technological breakthrough that completely revolutionizes the toilet flushing process. The absence of holes in the rim facilitates a robust centrifugal flushing action, which effectively and efficiently flushes away debris and blocks. 

The TOTO Ultramax II is not only very efficient but also approved by the WaterSense program. That it satisfies the EPA’s water efficiency criteria implies it will save you water and lessen your impact on the environment. Choose an option that helps the planet without sacrificing functionality or aesthetics.

The TOTO Ultramax II One-Piece Toilet Set offers a new standard in convenience, hygiene, and efficacy for your bathroom. Turn your ordinary life into a relaxing vacation.

5. Tankless Water Heaters

Hot water is available whenever it is needed with a tankless water heater. These effective systems only heat water when it’s being used, preventing wasteful standby heat loss and lowering energy costs. Some tankless water heaters have recirculating pumps and temperature controls to save water and speed up the heating process.

For this fixture, the EcoSmart ECO 27 Tankless Water Heater is the pinnacle of home comfort and efficiency. This tankless water heater can produce up to 27 gallons of hot water per minute, thanks to its powerful 27 kW output. You can stop worrying about running out of hot water and enjoy consistently high temperatures throughout your home. The EcoSmart ECO 27 eliminates the need to wait for the water tank to heat up again, so you may use hot water anytime you like.

The self-modulating technology achieves unprecedented levels of energy savings. Your home’s hot water needs are automatically matched by the water heater’s clever output regulation. As a result, it consumes only what is required, allowing for substantial energy savings. Adopt a green lifestyle without sacrificing your quality of life.

Flow sensor technology allows you to finally say goodbye to all that wasted heat. This cutting-edge innovation guarantees that the water heater only heats water as it is needed, cutting down on wasteful energy use. In addition to lowering your utility bills, optimizing your energy consumption also gives you peace of mind.

The frost protection mechanism keeps your water heater operational even in sub-freezing weather. There’s no need to stress over frozen pipes or other weather-related disasters. The EcoSmart ECO 27 is built sturdy enough to last through any weather and always performs as expected.

Discover a new level of convenience, efficiency, and cost savings when you install an EcoSmart ECO 27 Tankless Water Heater in your house. Adopt cutting-edge methods of heating water. Invest in the best option for your house and see the impact it makes.

Upgrade Your Burlington Plumbing With Trusted Fixture Installation Services

Plumbing upgrades for your Burlington house can greatly improve your home’s efficiency, water conservation, and energy savings. You can save the planet while saving money on utilities and increasing productivity by updating to current plumbing fixtures

The range of water-saving fixtures is vast, from toilets and faucets with reduced flow rates to tankless water heaters and whole-house filtration systems. Precise Plumbing is the company you choose if you want to update your plumbing system and start reaping the benefits immediately. 

Our trained technicians are committed to delivering installation services for your fixtures that not only meet but also surpass your highest expectations. Get in touch with Precise Plumbing Burlington right now to schedule an installation of energy-saving and environmentally friendly plumbing upgrades and renovations.