New Government Rules Proposed To Improve Our Environment
Earlier this year, several government agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), have proposed many final “rules” for President Obama’s last two years in office. The rules that these agencies are expected to propose in the next year or two include safety standards for everything from ATVs and train tank cars.
Here’s a few of the proposed rules that may affect you and your home:
Waterways across the U.S.: The EPA is working to define “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act in a final rule that is scheduled to be released in April. The rule would cover streams and rivers, including seasonal streams, that flow into larger bodies of water already protected under the Clean Water Act. Efforts to minimize pollution in streams and wetlands could cost up to $278 million annually, but the administration says the benefits (reduced flooding, filtering pollution, etc.) outweigh the cost.
Power plants: The EPA is proposing new limits for existing fossil fuel burning power plants. The new rules aim to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Our power plants are the largest concentrated source of emissions in the United States, accounting for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions. While the United States does have limits in place for arsenic, mercury and lead pollution that power plants can emit, there are no national limits on the amount of carbon pollution new power plants can emit. The new EPA standards also provide some flexibility for existing power plants to phase in the use of carbon reducing technologies – like efficient natural gas, advanced coal technology, nuclear power, and renewable energy like wind and solar.
Ozone pollution: The EPA is expected to issue final standards for ground-level ozone pollution. The agency released its proposal to lower the pollution threshold from 75 parts per billion to a level between 65 and 70 parts per billion under the Clean Air Act. The American Heart Association and other health advocacy groups have been lobbying for even stricter standards of 60 parts per billion. Ozone pollution is a byproduct of fossil fuel emissions, which can cause decreased lung function, swelling of the airways, and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
These new proposed rules and regulations are intended to improve our environment, both inside and outside our homes. However well intentioned, they may cost homeowners money in taxes, etc. But we don’t have to wait for government agencies to step in with new rules. We can improve our home environment long before (or even if) these rules take effect.
Here are six ways Abacus can help homeowners can get cleaner air, water and help lower energy bills by upgrading to the latest energy efficient equipment and solutions.
Install a Whole-Home Water Filtration System: Municipal water is treated to make it safe for us to drink. To do this they use chemicals. These chemicals and the by-products they generate are better to remove than consume once the water gets to your house. Filtering water reduces or removes many of these undesirable impurities making all of the water in your home more desirable. Convenient, better tasting water increases the likelihood that you’ll drink more water and drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your health. Additionally, the chemicals used in treatment can be hard on your plumbing system even causing pinhole leaks in some instances. Reducing the impurities in your home’s water is good for your family and for your home
Upgrade to the Latest Energy Saving HVAC Systems. When converting from an older HVAC system to a new one, your energy bills can be lowered dramatically offsetting the cost of the purchase. The higher the SEER rating the better. Choosing an energy-efficient air conditioner, furnaces and heat pump, air handler, comfort control thermostats and indoor air quality systems, like Lennox Air Conditioning & Heating Systems and Mitsubishi high-efficiency AC and heating equipment are highly recommended. Be sure these are installed by authorized dealers and fully licensed contractors. Improperly installed systems can lead to serious problems.
Install the Attic Tent® about your Pull-Down Attic Stairs. The Attic Tent makes your pull-down attic stairs airtight, which saves energy and keeps attic dust out of the air you breathe. Even the most minor air leaks can cause loss of heat or cool air which makes your system work harder and costs more money.
Improve or Replace Your Insulation: When your home doesn’t have adequate insulation, it results in major energy loss. So by increasing the amount of high quality insulation, or replacing old insulation with the latest types, like Owens Corning AttiCat® Insulation, you’ll lower your energy consumption and save our valuable natural resources.
Install an Instant Hot Water Recirculation Pump. Waiting for hot water to get to the sink or shower wastes money and causes frustration. But with a hot water recirculating pump, there will be constant circulation of hot water through the pipes from the water heater to the furthest fixture in the home. So no water is wasted waiting for hot water. Abacus installs the Grundfos brand hot water recirculating pump.
Consider Upgrading to a Tankless Water Heater. Tankless water heaters help improve energy cost savings and environmental preservation. Abacus recommends Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters to save money on your energy bill by heating water only when needed, unlike a traditional tank-style water heater that heats and reheats water all day long.
Reduce Water Usage by Installing high-efficiency toilets, shower heads, and faucets, like those produced by Toto, you can reduce your water bills.
Abacus Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electrical is a full service residential contractor that has been serving the greater Houston area for over 50 years. Abacus is a member of the Greater Houston Chamber of Commerce and has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau of Houston. Abacus is licensed and insured and offers 24/7 emergency service. To learn more about Abacus Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical, visit www.abacusplumbing.net or call (832) 554-9951. License Numbers: ALAN O'NEILL M-20628 | TACLB82488E | TECL 30557
Abacus Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electrical services the greater DFW area including, but not limited to: Houston, Humble, Baytown, Bellaire, Conroe, Katy, Spring, Sugar Land, The Woodlands and more. Check out Abacus Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electrical reviews or see Abacus A+ BBB to confirm Abacus is a company you can trust.