Improved efficiency through plumbing

2008-03-02

in Economics, The environment

One simple idea for improving the efficiency of houses would be to add an array of pipes to dissipate the heat in water used for showers, dishwashers, and the like during the winter. It would effectively increase the efficiency of the appliances and water heater, reducing overall energy consumption. it probably wouldn’t be too expensive, and it would reduce the guilt associated with hot showers. Those who take baths can accomplish the same thing using no special equipment at all – just leave the water in the tub until it cools to the ambient temperature in the room.

A more elaborate version of such a system might be able to use cooler water from the mains during the summer as a less energy-intensive alternative to air conditioning.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

tristan March 3, 2008 at 3:21 pm

This is generally a good idea. Probably the easiest thing would be to run the drains from hot water devices into a heat exchanger which preheats water fed to the boiler.

Similarly, cold water fed to the boiler in the summer could be used for a reverse heat pump air conditioner.

Kerrie March 3, 2008 at 11:17 pm

Also the “Grey water” system, which recycles shower and tap water into a special “grey tank” for toilet water. Super cool.

. April 19, 2008 at 12:40 am

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