In the United States, we are fortunate to have clean water, but it could be a lot cleaner. Municipal water treatment circulates water through sand beds to remove visible particles and then chlorine and/or ammonia is added to kill bacteria.
Our water treatment facilities were not designed to take out synthetic organic chemicals and toxic heavy metals like lead. We use thousands of synthetic chemicals and the levels in our water increases proportionately. A large portion of these chemicals can severely impact our health. In-home water purification is the most effective, most convenient and most economical means of providing the cleanest water for your home. Most quality home water purification products can provide water far superior to bottled water, at a fraction of the cost and in the convenience of your own home. Some of the best options to improve your water and lower your costs of heating it range from whole house filtration systems to recirculation pumps.
Whole house carbon water filtration systems use charcoal and coconut shell filtration in a four stage system that eliminates most odors, chlorine and bacteria for the best tasting drinking, bathing, and laundry water. This is the primary system installed where water enters the house. A good system provides excellent chlorine reduction (around 97%), a high flow rate and no loss in water pressure. It should also be a long lasting system with little maintenance required.
Water softeners are intended to remove minerals which accumulate in the pipes and appliances. Typically they are installed after a whole house filtration system before the water is distributed through your home. Water softeners treat hard water by using salt and ion-exchange resins to remove calcium and magnesium hardness from the water. These resins are coated in a sodium solution and when hard water comes into contact with the resin beads, the calcium and magnesium ions migrate out of the solution to the active sites on the resin and are replaced in the solution by sodium ions. Salt-free water softener alternatives are also available. They are also more environmentally friendly because they don’t need rinse water and electricity. They are also easier to maintain and are 100% salt free making them a more natural alternative. Both water filtration and water softening systems need to be serviced about every three months.
Another option is a point of use water filtration system at the faucet, usually installed in the kitchen. This filtration system will provide cleaner water for drinking and cooking purposes, but it will only provide filtered water at one location unless you install filters at each faucet. Your water for showering or laundry won’t be any cleaner.
Another concern is the accumulation of minerals, rust and other contaminates in the water heater. One option is an anti-scale / descaling system, like Flow-Tech offers. The Flow-Tech Home system has a unique induction method that treats all of the water in your home continuously. The system creates a low frequency signal that is pulsed several thousand times per second through your entire plumbing system. The electromagnetic signal reverses the charge on the minerals that are dissolved in the water makes the minerals form crystals suspended in the water. The crystals are then washed away with the waste water.
Water quality concerns don’t stop with clean water. Maintaining clean hot water efficiently is important, too. Standard gas and electric tank water heaters are changing. The new National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) requires that all new tank water heaters will have to be more efficient. The energy factor (EF) indicates a water heater’s overall energy efficiency. The higher the EF, the more energy efficient the water heater. The EF is measured in three ways:
- The recovery efficiency, which is how efficiently the heat from the energy source is transferred to the water.
- The standby losses, which is the percentage of heat loss per hour from the stored water compared to the heat content of the water.
- The cycling loss, which is the loss of heat as the water circulates through a water heater tank, and/or inlet and outlet pipes.
The Act requires a mandatory increase of 3% – 30% greater efficiency vs. current models. The increase in efficiency may be small, but can they add up to big savings for the environment and your budget.
Tankless Water Heaters eliminate the need for storing heated water and keeping it heated, so it is more efficient. They can be up to 24%–34% more energy efficient than tank water heaters. They also have a longer lifespan than a tank heater, take up much less space, are environmentally friendly, and provide an unlimited amount of hot water. You can get even more efficient hot water if you install on-demand water heaters at each hot water outlet.
Another option for hot water are recirculating pumps that keep hot water on-demand in the pipes to reduce wait times and wasted water. They slowly pump hot water through your hot water pipes and send it back to the heater. Several models and different types of systems are available and some may save thousands of gallons a year while using very little energy. Some models run constantly to circulate water through the pipes. Others use a timer so that the pump is only running during peak demand times.
“Best” means a different thing to different people based on needs and budget. But when you need the best possible solutions for your home, these are some of the considerations and options available to you.
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 713-766-3605. License Numbers: ALAN O'NEILL M-20628 | TACLB82488E | TECL 39119
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.