A Case for Eco-friendly Plumbing Products
With a shifting market that emphasizes eco friendliness and green energy initiatives, it is critical as a plumber to keep updated with the newest sustainable technology. Certain certifications and traits mark products as being ‘eco-friendly,’ but it is important to be able to explain to your customers exactly how and why these products are so vital towards a greener home and sustainable future. Water-saving and energy-saving technology can benefit both your reputation, profit and the environment. This article looks at the latest sustainable plumbing products and solutions with the lowest environmental impact. This includes water heaters, shower heads, faucets, toilets and chemicals.
Benefits of Promoting Eco-friendly Plumbing Products
Plumbers are given the unique opportunity to be able to both market environmentally friendly products to customers and install such products to improve home efficiency. Further, your company can also improve energy and water efficiency within its own office and be a model example of sustainability in the plumbing industry. For this reason, emphasizing the use of eco-friendly plumbing products is paramount in conserving water within your area. The benefits of promoting and using eco-friendly plumbing products also include :
- Helping to conserve water and energy in your area
- Protecting water supplies and the environment from harsh, toxic chemicals
- Differentiating your business and improving your reputation
- Elevating your brand as a green business
- Attracting new eco-conscious customers and employees
Navigating and making the switch to the latest water-saving products and technology poses some challenges and some questions to ask yourself:
- Researching the latest products takes time – Who on your team will oversee this?
- Switching to water-saving products can be expensive – How will this impact your customers?
- Some customers may be hesitant to change their current setup – How will you educate on the benefits of these products?
With new and updated products being released so quickly, it can be laborious scouring the internet to find exactly what you’re looking for. The fact of the matter is, you don’t have to sit down and study all the sustainable products on the market today. If you’re looking for a quick shortcut to green tech and appliances, look for those with a WaterSense or an Energy Star label, which I will touch upon again later.
When introducing your customers to the following brands of sustainable products, be sure to emphasize how these products will decrease their monthly water bill and have a positive impact on the larger community.
Tankless Water Heaters
18% of the average US home’s energy use goes towards powering a water heater. Needless to say, this is a waste of both money and energy. Homes that use less than 41 gallons of hot water a day can see a 24-34% increase in energy efficiency if they choose to switch to a tankless heater. Those who use around 86 gallons of hot water per day can still see a considerable increase in efficiency, around 8-14%, when switching to a tankless heater.
Here are the main benefits of switching to tankless water heaters:
- Improved energy efficiency
- Lower electric bill
- Less required space to operate
- Reduced maintenance
- Faster, more available hot water
- Prolonged product lifespan
- Longer warranties
The average tankless heater produces around 2-5 gallons of hot water per minute. Gas heaters are more efficient than electric ones, producing more hot water at a faster pace. The one striking issue with heaters involves how fast this hot water can be produced. Using multiple appliances that each require hot water simultaneously may stretch the water thin, seeing that one single tankless heater may not be able to keep up with a large demand of hot water. This can easily be remedied by installing two parallel heaters.
If you’re looking to buy the most energy efficient tankless heaters, a great place to start is by looking for Energy Star certified heaters. Energy Star certifications indicate that these products are 75% more energy efficient than similar products nationwide.
Click here to access Energy Star’s latest tankless water heaters, and be sure to emphasize the benefits of tankless heaters the next time a customer is looking to update their water heating system.
Water-Saving Faucets and Shower Heads
The average American family can waste up to 180 gallons of water per week. Our water habits can prove to be both wasteful and inefficient, negatively impacting the local water supplies and our wallets. If you were to install water efficient appliances all throughout your home, you can increase your water efficiency by up to 20%. Let’s start by looking into faucets and shower heads.
The trusted WaterSense label indicates a given product to be 20% more water efficient than other similar products while performing at the same rate. If you were to replace inefficient faucet heads with smart WaterSense faucets, you could save up to $250 in electricity and water costs throughout the time said faucet is in use. Switching to a WaterSense shower head can save an average home up to 2,700 gallons of water per year, reducing its average electricity and water costs by $70. This stat specifies water savings of the average household, so imagine the savings from installing WaterSense fixtures throughout your business.
The benefits of switching to low flow faucets, faucet aerators and shower heads can be summarized into the following:
- Conserve water and energy
- Lower utility bills
- Allocate savings to be used elsewhere in your business
- Protect your local water supplies and community
Low Flow Toilets
The average toilet uses around 5-7 gallons of water per flush but a low flow model can use as little as 1.28 gallons to get the job done. Switching to highly efficient, low flush toilets can decrease your water usage between 20-60%. WaterSense low flow toilets can save up to 13,000 gallons of water per year and $130 worth of water per year for the average household. This is equal to $2,900 in savings over the appliance’s lifetime.
Especially in areas prone to drought and water shortages, switching to high efficiency toilets could greatly benefit your business:
- Significantly decrease your water usage
- Lower your utility bill
- Conserve water that is vital to your community, especially during times of shortage
Be sure to highlight these facts to your customers next time they ask you to install a new toilet and emphasize the benefits of installing WaterSense products.
Breaking Down the Use of Chemicals
Drain maintenance usually requires the use of harsh chemicals to clear pipes. These materials often end up damaging wildlife and our surrounding environments after use. Aqua Pro, an EPA approved Safer Choice alternative and proud member of the Green Business Bureau, sells BioOne, an eco-friendly bacterial-based drain cleaner. BioOne is just as effective as traditional cleaners but eliminates the harsh, corrosive chemicals that all too often are flushed down the drain.
When recommending eco-friendly drain clog remedies for homes and businesses, be sure to name BioOne as a trusted environmentally sound option and pass along some helpful tips on drain maintenance.
Sustainable Plumbing Conclusion
Improving water and energy efficiency either onsite within your own business and facility or through promoting eco-friendly plumbing products to your customers is significant to water and energy conservation efforts and your role as a sustainable company. It is pertinent that plumbers educate customers on the benefits of water and energy conservation and how to navigate today’s eco-friendly products. Educating and encouraging your customers to make the more sustainable choice can have a big positive impact on communities and the environment at large. Every business should do their part in creating a more sustainable world.
About the Author
GBB Green Ambassador
Lauren Salerno is a management major at the University of Connecticut who is passionate about inspiring others to think sustainably within the business world. Once she graduates, she hopes to pair her knowledge of business with her passion for environmental conservation through seeking a fulfilling career within a sustainable company. In her free time, Lauren enjoys guided meditation classes, acrylic painting and walking with her dogs, Gizmo and Poppy.