Regularly updating your Marion, IL, home will keep it up to date with the latest market standards. It will also add value to your investment, boost the marketability of your home, and create a comfortable and cozy living space. Some improvements can even lower your utility bills. This is certainly the case when it comes to your plumbing system. Fortunately, there are many easy and affordable plumbing upgrades that have the potential to help you save.
1. Install Dual Flush or Low Flow Toilets
Toilets typically last between 10 and 15 years. If the time has come to replace your commodes, consider dual flush or low-flow designs. These additions will help you minimize water waste and lower your water bill. Should you ever wish to sell your home, they’ll also make your residence more appealing to prospective buyers seeking environmentally friendly amenities.
Dual flush toilets have both high-volume and low-volume flush settings. All low-volume toilets use half as much water as standard toilets. Low-flow toilets use half as much water as standard toilets with every flush. They’re also available at a slightly lower price point. If you want increased functionality and head-turning aesthetics, you can find both toilet types in a diverse range of colors and styles.
2. Replace Outdated Faucets
Most faucets installed before 1992 were designed to use between three and seven gallons of water per minute. If you have older faucets in your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry sinks, you’re probably spending a substantial amount of money on unused water that’s flowing down your drains. On average, faucets last about 15 years. If yours has already provided two decades or more of service, this is an upgrade that you shouldn’t overlook. Even if your faucets still reliably turn off and on, upgrading will help you avoid leaks and other functional, age-related problems that are bound to cost you money further down the road.
New and more modern faucets use just over two gallons of water per minute. In addition to saving you cash, these updates will also refresh the appearance of your sinks. It’s an opportunity to upgrade from low-cost, hardware-grade designs to eye-catching, finely crafted options that seamlessly coordinate with the rest of your decor. Given that kitchens and bathrooms are the very first rooms that many homebuyers visit, this is another plumbing improvement that will boost your home’s marketability.
3. Invest in a Water Softening System or a Whole-House Water Purifier
Water softeners can help you save money over time by preventing hard water buildup in your fixtures, pipes, and appliances. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), if you live in a home with excessively hard water, a water softener could make your water heater as much as 10% more efficient by reducing the in-tank scaling and sediment that gradually slows water’s movement.
While water softeners combat hard water, whole-house water filters ensure that potable water is as fresh-tasting and contaminant-free as it can possibly be. A whole-house water filter is an excellent plumbing upgrade for your home if you regularly spend large sums of money on bottled water, water delivery services, or replacement filters for countertop or single-tap water filtration systems. A whole-house water filter will remove chemicals and micro-sized particulates from your potable water while serving every tap throughout the building.
Given their whole-house installations, both water softeners and water purifiers can save you cash in other ways. For instance, if your water quality is negatively impacting the health of your hair, nails, or skin, you can look forward to improvements in each of these areas, along with less spending on any related medical, health, or beauty products. With the right water treatment system in your home, you may even find that your clothes last longer. By treating hard water and eliminating waterborne contaminants, you can minimize fading and general wear caused by laundering.
4. Go Tankless for Water Heating
Tankless water heaters are giving traditional, tank-based models a run for their money. They’re easy to maintain, and they don’t take up much space. In fact, if you choose point-of-use tankless water heating, you’ll have a small unit installed rather than a single, and massive, multi-gallon tank.
Although a bit pricier than standard water heaters, tankless models reduce energy waste in two different ways. To start, they only heat hot water supplies once. When someone in your home turns on a hot water tap, the connected tankless water heater will heat water on demand.
Comparatively, storage-based water heaters heat water and then store it indefinitely. They use additional energy to reheat their water stores at regular intervals. Traditional water heaters also experience ongoing energy losses as heat continuously leaves their water stores. This isn’t an issue with tankless models.
5. Switch to Low-Flow Plumbing Fixtures
You don’t have to reduce water pressure throughout your entire home to lower your water bill. You can simply switch to low-flow fixtures in specific areas. Affixing your showerheads and sinks with faucet aerators that combine water and air will give you the feel of fast-moving water through a powerful spray mist. Rather than using 2.2 gallons of water per minute, your newly upgraded taps will use just over one gallon. You can install low-flow fixtures in high-use areas while keeping standard fixtures in select showers, bathtubs, and sinks.
When making this upgrade, consider choosing options with attached pressure-compensating devices. These devices will maintain stable water pressure, irrespective of any changes that occur in your home’s water pressure.
6. Insulate Your Pipes
In Marion, freezing nighttime temperatures during the winter are the norm. Unfortunately, if your home isn’t prepared for them, you could end up with frozen pipes. Although you can prevent freezing pipes at the interior of the building by keeping your thermostat set at a reasonable temperature, pipes at the exterior of your house will remain vulnerable. Adding insulation to these pipes and to any pipes in basement areas or crawlspaces that aren’t protected by drywall and in-wall insulation is a great way to save money. You’ll avoid costly plumbing repairs, keep your floors dry, and sidestep frustrating interruptions in water service.
7. Update the Hoses on Your Washing Machine and Other Water-Reliant Appliances
Your washing machine, dishwasher, and other water-reliant appliances might be especially prone to developing slow and hidden leaks at their connections. When the water supply hoses on these appliances are made of rubber, age-related structural changes can allow water to seep out. You can replace rubber water supply lines with braided stainless steel options to sidestep the costs of resolving mold issues and replacing rotten, warped floor boards.
8. Invest in Leak Detection
Smart leak detection systems can both identify leaks and alert you via your mobile phone or other connected device. These systems are great for preventing and minimizing the damage caused by slow and hidden leaks. They’re also excellent additions to homes that have had slab leaks in the past. With timely alerts, you can schedule plumbing repairs before the resulting water damage spirals out of control.
Since 1986, we’ve been proudly serving Marion, IL, and the surrounding areas. Wondering why you should choose us? Read here. We provide plumbing, drain, and sewer services, as well as water softening and water filtration equipment. We also offer storm shelters and hunt-safe deer blinds. To schedule an appointment, contact Baker & Son’s Plumbing today.