Utility Room Eco-Tips
Select the icons to get remodeling tips for each area of the room.
- If you find white, fabric-like insulation on your pipes it may contain asbestos, which presents a serious health hazard. Contact a professional for recommendations on how to abate the threat.
- Use polyethylene (PE or PEX) piping for plumbing rather than polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
- Insulate all water pipes whether they are in heated or unheated spaces with at least one inch (R4) of insulation.
- Inspect exposed pipes in your home regularly for signs of deterioration, such as wall stains, drips, and corrosion.
- Keep your water heater set to 125-130 degrees Fahrenheit to mitigate the risk of scalding.
- Insulate the water heater and pipes – especially the first five feet from the appliance.
- Saving energy on water heating is strongly related to the flow rate of fixtures.
- Consider an ENERGY STAR rated water heater; whether tank or tankless.
Heating & Cooling
- Install quality air filters and change regularly.
- Service furnaces every one to two years.
- Locate your heating and cooling system inside conditioned space.
- If your furnace is more than 15 years old, consider a new ENERGY STAR high efficiency model.
- Consider hiring a technician to check gas pipes for leaks, to ductwork for asbestos, and evaluate changing heating fuel types.
Washer & Dryer
- Check with your utility for rebates on efficient washing machines. Clothes washers are one of the largest indoor users of water in homes.
- Wash with cold water – conventional detergents perform well in any temperature water.
- When replacing, pick an ENERGY STAR rated washer, or, for increased performance, a CEE Tier 2 or Tier 3 washer.
- Ensure your dryer is vented directly to the outside of your house.
- When buying a new dryer, look for a moisture sensor with automatic shutoff, rather than just a timer.
- For well-sealed, well-insulated homes, install a heat recovery ventilator to recover between 50-80 percent of heat exiting your home.
- For homes built before 1991, upgrade to a whole house ventilation system as prescribed in the Washington State Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality Code.
- Change your furnace air filter once a month during the heating season.
- Choose MERV-8 filters, preferably approved by the American Lung Association.
Utility Room Flooring
- Use hard surface flooring in laundry rooms and mechanical rooms.
- Choose flooring products that can easily be maintained.
- Choose flooring options that allow for partial replacement instead of whole-room replacement.