Category Archives: Save Money

How To Conserve Energy In Your D.C. Home

Our nation’s capital is a very green city. Many D.C. area residents are extremely environmentally conscious and their lifestyles reflect it. This mindset affects all areas of life here in D.C.: shopping, dining, transportation, even the daily aspects of home life. Regarding the latter, if you are a homeowner here in Washington, chances are you are looking for new and creative ways to cut down on energy use. Doing so is not only helpful for the environment, it is helpful for your utility bill as well! Given the skyrocketing prices of energy here in D.C., energy saved is money earned! This article will highlight some ways that you can do your part for the environment, while saving some serious cash.


Cut Down On Water Use




This is one of the easiest lifestyle changes you can make. There are simple steps that you can take to greatly reduce the amount of water used in your home. For one, try not to leave the water running when it is not being used. This might seem like a simple step, but it is one that many people sadly neglect. How many times do we leave the water running while brushing our teeth, for example? All of that water just goes straight down the drain! Another, slightly more radical, step is to turn the shower off during the actual lathering and washing process. This is known as a “navy” or “combat” shower, due to its use in the military. And try not to shower for too long. It may be comforting to stand in the hot water, but this leads to gallons and gallons of waste! Speaking of hot water, make sure that your water heater is as efficient as possible. Any leaks or malfunctions can lead to huge water waste. If you have this problem, there are many D.C. water heater repair companies who are able to fix it, and get you back to optimal efficiency.


Cut Down On Electric Use


As with water, this is another simple lifestyle change. It could involve something as cheap and simple as changing your current lightbulbs for more energy-efficient bulbs. Speaking of lights, always turn them off when they are not needed. This is another simple, obvious energy-saving step that many people forget about. Also, while summers can be very hot and humid here in D.C., avoid using your air-conditioner as much as possible—it is a huge energy guzzler! Try opening windows and using fans to get air flowing throughout your house, using the air-conditioner only at times when it is unbearably hot.


Outfit Your House For Maximum Energy Efficiency


There are energy-saving changes that you can make to the physical structure of your house itself. And no, this doesn’t have to involve solar panels (though they are a great idea). Installing more energy-efficient windows that reduce air leakage can greatly cut down on energy use over the course of a year. Speaking of air leakage, make sure your home is properly insulated, and that there are no cracks or leaks in the walls or roof of your house. Finally, installing a fireplace can greatly cut down on heater use, and save you energy during those chilly D.C. winters!

Water Conservation Tips

Since water is a finite resource, it’s very important to conserve it as much as possible. Although conserving water might seem like a daunting task, there are a few simple ways that you can reduce water use in your home or business to help make 2017 your greenest year yet.


Routine Plumbing Maintenance


One of the easiest ways to conserve water in your home or business is to keep up with routine plumbing maintenance tasks. Staying on top of preventive maintenance tasks such as small leaks and water heater maintenance and repair will help to conserve water in your home or business. A professional plumber can help you make sure all these necessary plumbing maintenance tasks are completed on a regular basis.


Kitchen And Bathroom Renovation And Remodeling


If you’re considering remodeling or renovating your kitchen or bathroom, it’s a great time to consider water conservation. A professional plumber can install low-flow faucets toilets, and appliances, which can help you and your family conserve water. If you’re in the DC area, it’s easy to find a plumber in DC who can assist you with making your home or business more environmentally friendly.  Your new kitchen or bathroom will be not only beautiful, but environmentally-conscious as well. And conserving water will save you money on your utility bills too.


Other Ways To Conserve Water


Even if you’re not interested in remodeling or renovating your kitchen or bathroom there are plenty of other ways to conserve water. One of the simplest things that you can do to conserve water in your home is to turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth. Another way to conserve water is to run your dishwasher and wash machine only in the evening. Installing screens on both the hot and cold water hoses on your washing machine will keep your appliance running efficiently. It will also save both water and electricity.


Garbage Disposal Maintenance


Keeping your garbage disposal clean and well-maintained is another way to save water in your home. A mixture of bleach and hot water is a simple way to keep your disposal clean without using harsh chemical cleansers. Baking soda can be helpful in reducing odors in your disposal as well. Something else to remember is to never pour kitchen grease or cooking oil in your garbage disposal.


Shower Pressure


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Reduced water pressure in your shower can lead to excess water usage. Soaking the showerhead in a mixture of vinegar and water overnight can improve the efficiency of your showerhead. A showerhead that runs at maximum efficiency can help you save water in your home.


Water Heater Maintenance


Keeping your water heater in good condition and repair is yet another way to conserve water. Your water heater should be flushed and tested on a regular basis, preferably in autumn when temperatures drop, which leads to more hot water usage. In order to conserve hot water, you should wait at least ten minutes between showers. This is especially important to remember if your home is filled with guests. These tips are easy ways to conserve water and save money in your home or business.


Considerations That Come Before Plumbing Renovations

Many people would like to begin the process of remodeling their bathroom. Often, for quite some time long before the physical remodeling process begins, people have been imagining the finished product in their head. They have thought about what it would be like to have a brand new shower. This shower might have all the modern, luxury amenities that showers are able to be equipped with now. Before the first nail is struck with a hammer, many people in the early planning process of a bathroom remodeling job are already imagining how relaxing their new shower will be each morning and how effective it will be in preparing them for the day ahead. These bathroom remodeling fantasies might also include visions of brand new fixtures, or maybe even a new countertop surface. A lovely new soaking tub may be in the works for some, while others dream of dual sinks.  For some, a brand new toilet might be high on the wish list. For the more environmentally-conscious, perhaps the toilet is a newer model equipped to deliver the water efficiency benefits that newer toilets can now provide.


Fantasy Must Turn Into Reality


At some point, however, the enjoyable planning phase must evolve into concrete action, and the remodeling job has to actually begin. And the work isn’t even the most unpleasant part of the bathroom remodeling process. Once the tools come out of the box, it’s all downhill from there. No, often the most difficult part of the bathroom remodeling process is the consideration of the plumbing aspects of the job. Many people do not initially factor this into their vision for the very simple reason that you can’t see a bathroom’s plumbing. But the most luxurious shower and most efficient toilet are nothing without a solid plumbing system to keep them functioning optimally.


Plumbing Systems Must Be Considered First




The first main plumbing consideration to be investigated and planned is the actual plumbing system, its location, and whether it needs updated and/or moved to accomplish the remodel.  The best way to go about this is to draw up a plan showing how you would like your bathroom remodel to look.  Then have your plumber look it over & tell you what all will be involved to reach your end result, and make sure the changes you propose are feasible.


Consulting A Plumber Saves Hassles


After you both agree on a doable plan, realistic not just physically and spatially, but also within your budget, then you are set to begin.  Spending this time with a professional plumber before work commences will save you many headaches, time, and money in the long-run.  Remodeling and upgrading your bathroom should leave you pleased and happy, not disappointed and broke.


For more information on the specific cost of the remodeling job you may be planning or for an assessment of what remodeling might be possible in a particular bathroom space, contact a DC plumbing renovations company and make an appointment to have a professional plumber come out and take a look at what you have along with your design plans.



Saving Money, Time, And Headaches On Plumbing Issues

People often experience problems in their home such as leaking pipes, broken appliances, clogs, too much noise, no water, no heat, and many more. Some of these issues are unavoidable at times, but some problems could be avoided and fixed long before they every happen. A very common issue that can often fly under the radar until it hits your wallet is wasting water, either through appliances, pipes, or carelessness. A leaking pipe, toilet, or appliance is not only very negative for the environment ,but can also be hard on your finances. Wasting water can cost you a significant amount of money, running your bill up each month. Pipes, sinks, washing machines, and faucets all have the potential to create a water wasting problem, so be sure that they are running smoothly and correctly.


Sneaky Toilet Leaks


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Another big waster of water that many people don’t realize is toilets. Many people are in fact not sure how to check a toilet for a leak. Luckily it is very quick and simple and wont take any money or an appointment. To check for a leak simply put a few drops of dye in the tank and let sit for 15 minutes. If after 15 minutes you see the drops of dye in the toilet bowl, then you can conclude that the toilet is leaking and costing you water and money. If you do not have a vast knowledge of fixing toilets, then it is suggested to call a professional as soon as possible for expert help and advise.


Water Heater 101


The water heater is a crucial part of anybody’s home, as it is responsible for delivering heated water throughout the entire house and to all appliances. It is important to keep an eye out for any small issues or changes in the water heater, as anything wrong could be a sign that the heater may be ready to die. Things like making sure that the flame is blue, no water is leaking out beneath the unit, and that the thermostat is set to an efficient temperature are all very important for ensuring that the water heater is functioning correctly and will continue to do so. Another thing many people don’t know is setting the thermostat to 120 degrees is best. This ensures not only will you still have hot water when and where you need it, but will also preserve the life of the water heater, preventing it from scalding over time and being ruined. For any other questions that you may have with any plumbing matter, you should contact your plumbing company in DC.


Quick Tips For Shower Drains


If your shower drain is slow or clogged, it can be very frustrating and time consuming. The good news is that you can make a big difference with some safe drain cleaner and a little time. If that doesn’t work, then you may want to remove the drain cover and use a coat hanger to try and fish out the debris. A shop vac is also a useful tool in using suction for removing whatever is causing the clog. If all else fails, don’t hesitate to call a professional for help and/or expert services to help solve the problem.

Catching Potential Plumbing Problems Early

When it comes to the perception of plumbing, many people see it as confusing, problematic, and an impossible feat to tackle. Fortunately, this is far from the truth. There are endless things that you can do to take precautions, double check, maintain, and improve any area of plumbing in your home. For example, a common mistake that people often make is leaving there home for an extended period of time without having the plumbing in mind before they leave. An excellent tip to always remember to do before you leave is to shut off the main valve in your home. If a leak were to happen while you are away, it could lead to a catastrophe, leaving your home and possessions completely flooded and ruined. This could end up costing your thousands of dollars.

Another trick is to turn off appliances and units that don’t need to be running while you are away. Not only can you put your mind at ease that they wont be breaking or having a problem, but you will also notice a cut back in energy costs since they were completely off .


What To Look For Before Buying A Home


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It is all too common for someone to love everything about a house and its property and then forget to inspect the septic system and finer details of the plumbing. Everything on the outside may look clean and new, but the main structure and plumbing of the house could be poor or even on the verge of large potential problems. Before buying a home, you should have the plumbing systems inspected, taste and smell the water, and you need to figure out if you have your own septic tank or if your septic system is connected to a municipal sewer. There is a big difference between having the waste pumped away to a public system and having it stored underground on your property.


Checking The Septic System


Once you understand this, and if indeed you do have a septic tank on the property, then you need to make sure that the tank and line are problem free and will not get backed up. Having a back up or break in the line that carries waste could create major heath risks for you and your family, not to mention unpleasant messes and large sums of money to repair. For any questions or concerns regarding septic systems or anything that relates to plumbing, don’t hesitate to contact your local company offering DC plumbing repairs for any questions and inspections.


Winterizing Lines Correctly Indoor And Out


A very hazardous problem that can easily be avoided is winterizing any and all pipes/lines that can experience freezing temperatures. Turning off and draining lines before they encounter freezing weather will save them from most likely freezing and then cracking, leaving you with a broken pipe and a real hassle to get fixed. If you do forget and a pipe does freeze, it important that you contact a professional as soon as possible to see about fixing it before it cracks. If you are going to try and thaw it yourself, be sure that you are properly equipped and understand how to attempt this safely.

Plumbing Tips That Can Help You Now And In The Future

The plumbing in your home can be the culprit that devours large amounts of time and money, fixing and maintaining fixtures, appliances, and systems year after year. Luckily, there are excellent tips to help eliminate some of these unnecessary headaches and expenditures. Instead of paying to have new appliances or fixtures installed, you could always try and install them yourself if you are looking to save some money and increase your knowledge of how plumbing works.


Ensure Sources And Structural Capabilities


To install a bathtub you need to be sure that you have all the necessary parts, water supply to the area, enough space, and correct floor joints in order to support the weight of a bathtub full of water. As for other appliances such as dishwashers, garbage disposals, washers, dryers, and toilets, checking to make sure that your have all the correct water sources, electrical sources, and structural capabilities is always a must. Next you can find the correct make and model that best suits you. Lastly, you can then learn the correct method of installation to get the best and most efficient use out of your appliance.


Why Energy Efficiency Is So Important


The benefits of energy efficiency today are always on the rise and can make the difference between having more or less dollars in your pocket as well as helping or hindering the environment. Nowadays, people have the privilege of replacing old non-efficient models and appliances with new energy star rated units. Energy efficiency will offer more quality, less energy usage, save the environment, and hold its value very well. Energy efficient models can now be used in the form of toilets, washers,dryers, dishwashers, shower heads, water heaters, air conditioners, heaters, refrigerators and many more. Every time you upgrade an appliance or unit to an energy efficient one, you can expect to get more out of it while spending less. If you are unsure where to start or have any questions regarding energy efficiency or plumbing in general, contact your local company offering DC plumbing services to receive service, help, and professional advice.


Sprinkling Evenly


Sprinklers can be an excellent means of keeping your lawn and plants healthy and watered daily. However, it is important to be sure that they are specifically calibrated to the layout of your landscape and are hitting all the necessary areas. If they are set up incorrectly, then you could be stuck with more work along with bare/dead spots that have fallen behind because of the lack of water. A quick trick to use that will surly tell you if each area is getting the same amount of water in each area is using a few small containers of the same size and placing them in different watering spots. If they are all filled with the same amount of water, then you are sprinkling evenly. If not, then you may want to investigate and make an adjustment of where the water is going.


Any of the tips mentioned will surely save you time, money, or both when it comes to plumbing matters in and around your home. Remember, working smarter and saving the environment can often be done at the same time.