If you are renovating your home, consider using a gray water hydronic radiant floor heating system. That sounds fancy, but really, all you have to do is recapture your gray water and heat it, so that it runs through pipes in your floor.
Gray water is pretty much the water that drains from your showers, tubs, bathroom sinks, and washing machine. With the average American family using around three hundred gallons of water each day, recapturing your gray water can have many benefits.
Radiant floor heating systems are very efficient because there is no energy lost through ducts. There are also no moving air or filters to deal with, so individuals with allergies can benefit. Hydronic systems use little electricity, allowing you to live off the grid (if possible) or to reduce your monthly energy bill. As an added bonus, you could heat the water with a solar water heater, further reducing your energy needs and impact on the environment.
You can heat your home with gray water then use it for a third time to water your garden or yard. You basically create a system that is separate from the water that you drink or use in your kitchen sink or toilets. The separate system then cycles from your heating system into a holding tank that keeps your gray water handy for outdoor needs.
You could also connect your toilets with your gray water tank, so you could use your gray water for three purposes: your heating system, your toilets, and your yard. You don’t necessarily need to treat your gray water, especially if you only use organic shampoos, soaps, and detergents.
A gray water hydronic radiant floor heating system is a mouthful, but it is one of the most eco-friendly changes you can make in your home. You’ll be reducing, reusing, and recycling. You’ll reduce your white water (the clean stuff you can drink) needs, lowering your monthly water bill, and both reuse and recycle your gray water for multiple purposes. Since hydronic radiant floor heating systems don’t require a lot of energy, you’ll also reduce your energy needs, which will save you money.
When installing this kind of system, though, you’ll want to work with a contractor. There are codes to follow, for example, gray water and white water pipes need to be different colors and sizes to prevent them from being crossed. In the end, you’ll be doing your wallet and the earth a huge favor.