Life cycle based analysis of demands and emissions for residential water-using appliances

J Environ Manage. 2012 Jun 30;101:75-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.02.010. Epub 2012 Mar 7.


Environmental impacts of energy and water demand and greenhouse gas emissions from three residential water-using appliances were analyzed using life cycle assessment (LCA) based approach in collaboration of economic input-output model. This study especially focused on indirect consumption and environmental impacts from end-use/demand phase of each appliance. Water-related activities such as water supply, water heating and wastewater treatment were included in the analysis. The results showed that environmental impacts from end-use/demand phase are most significant for the water system, particularly for the energy demand for water heating (73% for clothes washer and 93% for showerheads). Reducing water/hot water consumption during the end-use/demand phase is expected to improve the overall water-related energy burden and water use sustainability. In the analysis of optimal lifespan for appliances, the estimated values (8-21 years) using energy consumption balance approach were found to be lower than that using other methods (10-25 years). This implies that earlier replacement with efficiency models is encouraged to minimize the environmental impacts of the product.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Environment*
  • Household Articles / instrumentation*
  • Housing
  • Industry
  • Water Supply*