Cheryl Fleming, GRI, ABR's Blog
11 Elizabeth St, Grafton, MA 01536
Ever have one of those random mornings that everything goes wrong? Worst of all, everyone in the house managed to get ahead of you into the shower and now there's no more hot water. Ugh!
You demand hot water! At least, you'd like to. And you can make demands with an on-demand hot water system.
On-demand Tankless Water Heater
Long used in Europe and other parts of the world, on-demand water heating units typically heat water at that the time the tap turns on rather than heating a tank full of water. According to Energy.gov, an instantaneous-type water heater avoids standby energy losses associated with tank storage water heaters. That can save you money on utilities over time.
Here’s how it works: Tankless water heaters heat the cold water running through the pipe and into the unit. Either electric or gas, the units supply constant hot water as long as the tap is open. And since you don’t need to wait for a tank to fill up, the last person to get in the shower receives the same amount of hot water as the first person.
There are limitations, however, that have to do with the rate of flow. A typical tankless unit will provide between two and five gallons per minute, so if you're used to more water pressure, you might be disappointed. Also, if you install one central until to heat water for the entire home, you'll find this limitation is problematic when running both the dishwasher and the shower or filling a tub at the same time you're washing a load of clothes on hot. To overcome this limitation, install more than one unit in parallel or install several at the point of use: so, place one in each bathroom, one in the laundry room and one in the kitchen.
Point of Use Water Heaters Tank
Another option that works for small amounts of instant hot water, such as to fill a kitchen sink for dishes, is a point-of-use water tank. These are small tanks that hold between two and five gallons, placed on the hot water line near to where you might use them. A two-gallon might work under the kitchen sink so that water for rinsing is available immediately. A larger version, say a five-gallon unit, might go inline to your washer in the laundry room if you need to wash in hot water on a consistent basis.
An advantage of these tanks is that the water is available in the location you need it most, while still being in-line with your main household water tank. The distinct disadvantage is that if you need more hot water than the tank holds, you must wait for it to arrive from the household unit anyway.
Either one might be just the perfect solution for you. Contact a certified installer to give you an idea of your options. And check with your local real estate professional to see how adding one of these units can increase your home’s value.
As you look for ways to avoid spending a lot of money on your landscape, you need to learn about xeriscaping. In suburban areas, up to 80 percent of the water used for a household goes to preserve a lawn or yard. For those who want to invest in some landscaping but who do not want to maintain the irrigation needs of vast swatches of turf, this concept is one you should learn.
What is Xeriscaping?
Xeriscaping is a thoughtful process of using little or no water for your landscape needs. Professionally, it is also any of the following:
- landscaping explicitly designed for areas that are susceptible to drought;
- gardens designed for properties where water conservation is essential;
- lawn conditioning for those who want more environmentally friendly means of watering plants; and
- landscaping for those who want to save money on water.
The origin of the word is from the Greek word “xeros” which means "dry." Taken in this particular context, it means "dry landscape."
Advantages of Xeriscaping
Aside from the appealing fact that it saves water (between 50 and 70 percent reduction on your water bill), the following are the advantages of adequately installed xeriscaping:
- Increased property value: Great landscaping always increases the value of a property, but xeriscaping also improves the bottom line by saving on the need for irrigation lines and maintenance and the cost of excess water use.
- Xeriscaping not only reduces the need for water but if thoughtfully installed, it works as a means of pest control. Citronella helps repel mosquitoes, lavender wards of ticks and mites, and other plants work for different pests. Research your region and the native plants that are available to install the best pest control species for your home.
- Typically, xeriscape plant selections are self-propagating, so you save on having to buy and install new plants each year.
- You will reduce maintenance costs because most drought-tolerant or native plants do not require mowing or pruning. Additionally, when using native plants, weeds have less opportunity to take over and bees, butterflies, and birds find a home.
- Because it is all about the conservation, most xeriscape designs include the artful use of gravel, stones, and pavers to add utility to the grounds.
Now that you know the about concept of xeriscaping, you can learn more about it. Ask a landscape professional to review your property to see where xeriscaping can add value to your home.
90 Coolidge Rd, Worcester, MA 01602