WATER and YOUR HOME
Varying types of water aren’t the only considerations when you’re examining the performance of your appliances. Although the different variables in water can most certainly have an impact on the way your machines operate, another major consideration is how the appliances use the water that they’ve been given. In 2013, green is everybody’s favorite color, and the appliance and water conservation industries have teamed up to make some considerable initiatives in the way that your household units use their water.
- In the Bathroom. While you may not necessarily think of your toilet, shower, and bathroom facets as appliances, if you overlook them, you’re overlooking a part of your home that uses a significant amount of water to function properly. The pipes that supply water to your bathroom are just as important (if not more so) than the pipes that give water to the rest of your house, so taking care to minimize corrosion and water usage in general is a great way to save money now and down the pipeline, so to speak.Low-flow toilets have come a long way in the last few years. What was once an inefficient fixture in the home that was known to work minimally, if at all, at performing its ever-important function, has now taken the household appliance industry by storm. Manufacturers have become sensitive to the desires of the green consumer, and they’ve stepped up to improve the look, feel, and overall function of low-flow toilets. These days, those porcelain thrones are as green as they can be. Don’t worry, a functioning green toilet still comes in white, so you don’t have to worry about decorating around the 1970s Avocado version of a green bathroom!Inefficiencies in the bathroom are capable of occurring anywhere that makes water happen. Faucets can be a large source of water and monetary waste if they’re not functioning to their optimal potential. If you’re looking for a way to go a little greener in the bathroom, think about looking for faucets and aerators with the WaterSense Savings label. You’ll not only reduce the amount of water and money flowing out of your home, but you’ll also reduce the demands on your water heater, which saves you money all the way through your house, from top to bottom.And, of course, there’s the shower. If you haven’t considered a low-flow shower head, we’re guessing it’s because of either one of two reasons: you didn’t know they existed or your shower is the one space that you’re not willing to compromise on the wills and ways of your water usage. Don’t worry; we understand. We love our showers, too, but as a green consumer (or someone thinking about going greener), it’s important that you realize all of the strides that the appliance and water industries have made in all places of your home to increase efficiencies without reducing comfort. This effort has also gone into that sacred shower stall. You can purchase energy-efficient shower heads for very reasonable prices and install them without the worry of taking a waterless shower. In fact, the idea in your head of low-flow faucets is likely just an idea that you’ve allowed your imagination to create because these creations allow a reduction in overall energy consumption and water usage without compromising everyday comforts.
- In the Kitchen. Just as we’ve discussed the ways of the world where the white throne dwells, you can make similar adjustments to the way your faucets function in the kitchen. Creators of fashionable faucets have recognized the trend toward the greener color of the spectrum, and they’ve responded. You can find beautiful fixtures for your sink that will speak volumes about your style and your need to be green. Kitchen sinks are a place that’s gotten the full attention of companies that need to be stylish and top-of-the-line to keep their top spots in the market place, and as a green consumer, you get to reap the rewards.You may not want to spend a ton of money updating the water filtration features in your home if you aren’t going to eventually have appliances that know how to use that water, and other energy sources, as efficiently as possible. In many homes, the kitchen is the most important and most popular room in the house, so taking care to shop smart can make a big impact on this vital space.Appliances with that renowned Energy Star label are a great place to start shopping. According to the EPA, Energy Star qualified dishwashers use approximately one-third less water than non-qualified dishwashers. What does this mean for you? Well, not only are you going to be keeping a little more money in your pocket when the electric bill rolls around, but you’re using less money, too, so you’ll save on your water bill and you’ll keep that new water filtration system happy, too. The Energy Star name also exists on refrigerators and freezers and stoves, so any of your big ticket items can take a big chunk off of your monthly and annual energy and water expenditures if you do your research and shop a little smarter.
- In the Laundry Room. If there’s one place that can suck your wallet dry, it’s the room that holds your dryer. Taking care to shop a little greener for the appliances in your laundry room can make the chore of cleaning clothes a lot less stressful. With the right washer and dryer, you might even enjoy the task! Although there was a time when buying a high-efficiency washer may have been a dream, these days, you don’t have to pinch yourself to find great appliances and the products that keep them working at their best. Energy Star washers and dryers are a great way to put this label to use in your laundry room, too. They’ll make the most of that precious water source and be as efficient as possible with your electric bill, too. You can help take a bigger chunk out of your bills by washing your clothes in cold water. You should also consider a front-loading washer if you’re replacing your current machine, since they’re known to be much friendlier on your wallet.
Every space in your place has room for energy improvements. With a combination of efficient appliances, improved water quality, and the know-how to make the most of your dollars, you may find yourself seeing a little greener when you look around your home!
When it comes to differing water and its effects on your household appliances, there is a lot more going on than many people may think. Once you understand the type of water you have and how it plays with your appliances, you can take measures to ensure more longevity and a happier life for your big ticket items. Have water analysis done on your home water so you know what you’re working with, then take the applicable steps to take care of your pipes and appliances as best you can. Keep in mind that the appliance and water industries have teamed up to do amazing things in recent years, and with the right combination of research and smart shopping, you’ll be well on your way to making your home a little bit greener from the rooms in your home to the folds of your wallet. After all, green is everybody’s favorite color these days.
Once you have understood your water and taken steps to make it as great as it can be, you may be surprised that, when it’s all said and done, it won’t even taste like water anymore. It’s more likely to contain the sweet taste of success in every glass you drink, basket of laundry you fold, and tray of dishes that you empty.
Gord Haines is a journeyman appliance technician with over 25 years of experience.
Contact Gord’s Appliance for repair and servicing of all your residential appliances