Plumbing

Saving Water — Saving Energy

Posted on March 27,2015 by AlexWilson in low-flow

In this weekly blog, I’ve focused a lot of attention on the energy-saving measures at our new home — from the innovative insulation materials we used to the air-source heat pump heating system and our top-efficiency heat-recovery ventilator. What I haven’t said much about are the measures we’ve taken to reduce water use and why these measures save energy as well.

Can Switching to a Dual-Flush Toilet Save Heat?

Posted on March 27,2015 by user-1048334 in BTU

First off, my wife just joked that I used a photo of a “male bathroom”: seat up and two rolls of toilet paper. Regarding the heat savings mentioned in the headline, we'll see... I haven't done the math yet. But it is a minor claim occasionally made alongside the claim that these toilets save water.

Getting Into Hot Water — Part 3

Posted on March 27,2015 by user-1095434 in DHW

In a previous blog, I described our decision to get rid of our oil-fired boiler. When our oil boiler went away, the hot water tank did also, and this gave me an opportunity to relocate the new water heater directly below the two bathrooms. This reduces the wait time to get hot water to the tap substantially, and the tank is now only half the distance from the kitchen as well.

Drainline Heat Exchangers

Posted on March 27,2015 by AlexWilson in drain

Over the past few weeks I’ve written about various strategies to produce hot water efficiently. We’ve seen that tankless water heaters are more efficient than storage water heaters (though are not without their drawbacks), and we’ve learned that heat-pump water heaters produce two to three times as much heat per unit of electricity consumed as electric water heaters that rely on electric resistance heat.

Inefficient Hot Water Piping Layouts Waste Hot Water

Posted on March 27,2015 by Gary_Klein in hot water

What is the key to an efficient piping layout for domestic hot water? The answer is to keep the volume of hot water between the water heater and the tap as small as possible. The difficulty is that most buildings have only one source of hot water and the many uses are spread throughout the floor plan.

Evolving Opinions on Green Building

Posted on March 27,2015 by CarlSeville in fiber cement

I still remember using spray foam insulation in my early green renovation projects – it was almost magic! It sealed and insulated in one shot. It made it easy to finish attics and avoid most of the problems with fiberglass batts that were the common insulation on our jobs.

German Innovation in Solar Water Heating

Posted on March 27,2015 by AlexWilson in domestic hot water

I was in Boston last week for the annual Building Energy conference, sponsored by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association. Each year this conference provides an opportunity to connect with friends and colleagues, catch up on leading-edge building design, and learn about product innovations in energy conservation and renewable energy.

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