If you take a shower, you use a lot less water than taking a bath, but showers can still use substantial amounts of water. If the weather is cold, a long, hot shower feels great, and if you have teenagers living in your house, long showers can be daily occurrences! There is a way to cut water usage without cutting time in the shower or at the sink, through – low-flow faucets.
Low-flow faucets use “restrictors” to lessen the flow of water, and they also aerate the water. Basically, they work by replacing water with air. Low-flow faucets distribute the water efficiently and evenly over your hands or body so that it feels like more water is being used. In other words, low-flow faucets distribute less water over a greater area.
Some sources say you can save $100 a year using low-flow faucets, and that you can cut your water usage by half at the site of installation. This is because you save:
1. Electricity or gas
Your hot water heater will not have to work so hard to heat water if you are using less. Therefore, you save energy.
2. Sewer fees
If you are part of a municipal water system, your sewer fees go up when your water usage does.
3. Water bill
Obviously, the less water you use, the less you pay per month.
You can replace your sink and shower faucets with low-flow ones for very little – such faucets start at only $15-$20. And this is a great DIY project for the average homeowner, so you won’t have to pay for professional installation. There are also online tutorials to help.
Here are some things to keep in mind if you want to replace your existing faucets with low-flow ones
1. Check the gallons per minute (gpm) on your existing faucets
The average water flow for a shower is between 2.5-5 gpm. Low-flow faucets can use a little as .5 gpm, although the average is between 1 and 1.5 gpm. Remember, low-flow faucets mix air in with the water so you will not notice a difference in water pressure. (Low-flow does not equal “trickle.”)
2. Check your existing sink faucet aerators
You may not have to replace your entire sink faucet – just replacing the existing aerator with a low-flow one may do the trick. At about $3, this is a very affordable way to decrease your water usage.
Saving water is also a consideration for those who are concerned about the environment. Less water usage means less energy usage as noted above, and water is the most precious resource on our planet. Saving as much as possible makes sense, both for your budget and the earth.
Keep Going Green!