Save up to a third on your hot water bill with a gas condensing water heater. It works by exploiting the waste heat created when burning heating fuel to boost the water heater’s efficiency. Separate hot water systems can potentially save a lot, gas or oil. The typical NYC multifamily building uses 40% of its heating fuel to make hot water. More efficient hot water generation is needed in all buildings.
NYC Green House is an HPD program designed to help building owners reduce the amount of water used by the residents as well as the water used to operate their buildings. Whether renovating units, replacing mechanicals or maintaining these residential buildings, NYC Green House provides access to tax credits, rebates and incentives that help lower water usage, as well as some easy tips for residents and maintenance staff that can lower your water bills.
Tankless hot water systems heat water instantaneously. They only use energy while hot water is being used; you don’t pay to store hundreds of gallons of hot water all day. Look into the systems recommended by Energy Star®:
A green roof can lower the heating and cooling costs for your building. A green roof is a layered system with a soil medium, and carefully selected low-maintenance plants. You can grow herbs, flowers and create a relaxing space for residents. The City of New York is implementing partial tax abatements to help you recoup some of the cost of constructing a green roof.
Fixing leaks is crucial to preserving ceilings, walls and flooring, lighting, and electrical systems. If a resident reports a leak, follow the leak to its source--whether it’s a hole in the roof or siding, a broken window, or a pipe that’s been nicked.
Replace your O-rings and washers to see if that solves the problem of a leaky sink or shower. Pipe tape (Teflon tape) can be used to secure loose connections between the faucet and the pipe.
Check your meter during a period when water’s not being used. If the level changes, you have a leak. A leaky tub faucet, toilet or sink can waste thousands of gallons of water per year.
Install aerating faucets on your kitchen sink, or inexpensive aerators on existing faucets. Aerators inject air into the water stream, increasing water pressure, so that the fixture can use less water without sacrificing performance.
Most low-flow showerheads use 1.5-1.75 gallons per minute--much less than the 2.5 gpm in standard showerheads. The lowest flow showerhead on the market is only half a gallon per minute. By injecting air into the shower stream, these stylish water savers still deliver a comfortable, powerful shower. Visit the WaterSense program through the US EPA:
Choose low-flow flush or dual flush toilets when renovating bathrooms.
Set your water heater to 120 degrees, or select “low,” to reduce the cost of water heating and ensure water comes from the faucet at a safe temperature.
Insulate hot water pipes with easy to install pre-cut pipe insulation.
Prevent unnecessary heat loss by wrapping your existing tank water heater with an insulating blanket. Check your Owner’s Manual first to make sure it’s not already insulated internally.
Do laundry on the warm or cold setting instead of hot. Many detergents work just as well in cold or warm water.
Solar hot water heaters use renewable energy from the sun to heat your building’s water. Solar hot water heaters, also called solar thermal systems, can reduce your annual energy use for water heating by half, though you will need to supplement these systems during cloudy days.
Keep the front of your building shaded and protected. Take care of the street trees along your property line and on sidewalks near your building. Planters or rain gardens along your property line and in courtyards can help absorb some of the rainwater that collects on your property.
The Parks Department plants street trees, free-of-charge, on sidewalks in front of homes, apartment buildings, and businesses in all five boroughs. In order to request a free street tree please use the Parks Department’s forestry service request system.
Prevent mold before it gets out of control. Leaks from roofs, interior plumbing, caulk or grout that’s in disrepair can cause mold to grow in your floors and walls. Once you’ve sealed any leaks, use a mold-inhibiting product to clean and protect the area. Learn more at the EPA’s webpage: A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home.
Are the gutters on your building in good condition? Their purpose it to keep rainwater away from your building, protecting walls, windows and foundations. Make sure to clean them seasonally and check the gutters after any major weather event.