World Water Day 2021: HVAC Efficiency Is Key for Conservation

World Water Day 2021: HVAC Efficiency Is Key for Conservation

Mar 17, 2021 | Blog Posts, Insights

World Water Day 2021

Freshwater Is a Precious Resource

For World Water Day 2021, the theme is “Valuing Water” and the question posed to all of us is, “What does water mean to you?” Before we jump in, let’s consider the big picture. Did you know that less than 3% of the water on Earth is freshwater? Out of this, more than two thirds is frozen in polar ice caps and icebergs (Worldwide Fund for Nature)? Accordingly, we must use freshwater as sparingly as possible.

Buildings Are Primary Water Wasters

However, in many cases water is used inefficiently. Buildings are a prime offender, and they account for a whopping 12% of total water U.S. consumption (EPA). The main reason for this large amount is due to conventional water systems that are wasteful.

HVAC Efficiency Reduces Water Use

The way for buildings to use less water is by making HVAC systems more efficient. In fact, green buildings that are LEED-certified can cut water consumption by 11% (USGBC). This is because HVAC systems account for a huge amount of a building’s water use – 28-48% (EPA).

With that said, what does water mean to us at HIGHMARK?

World Water Day 2021

For Us, Water Is Vital for Buildings and Must Be Conserved

For buildings to run, they need water – but it’s imperative to use as little as possible. Thus, HVAC systems must run efficiently to maximize water conservation in buildings. How can this be done? A principal means is building electrification via heat pumps.

Building Electrification Equals Water Conservation

The most efficient HVAC systems are electric. Utilizing them not only decreases carbon emissions, it also significantly decreases water use. Hence, building electrification is a critical component of water conservation.

World Water Day 2021

Heat Pumps Reduce Water Use

One of the most water-efficient building technologies available today is the heat pump. Electricity-powered heat pumps can be 800% more efficient than conventional equipment. This results in drastic reductions in both energy and water consumption. For this reason, heat pumps play a key role in realizing building electrification and conserving water.

NYS Clean Heat Program Supports Water Efficiency

Providing important backing to greater adoption of heat pumps is NYSERDA’s NYS Clean Heat Program. Through it, substantial incentives – in the form of rebates – are offered for electrification via heat pumps. Therefore, the NYS Clean Heat Program not only improves building energy efficiency, but water efficiency as well.

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