The American Household
Statistics claim that an average family of four uses 300 gallons a day with an estimate of 109,000+ each year. Conscientious consumers think about water conservation. Toilets that are running continually and in need of repair can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day. By repairing these fixtures a family could reduce their household consumption by two-thirds. Another way to help conserve our natural resources is to consider switching out fixtures for the low flow variety which could reduce water usage by 20%.
What are low flow fixtures?
Homeowners are always looking for ways to lower expenses. One way to have more money in your wallet is to install low flow fixtures. You may ask, “What is a low flow fixture?” These are plumbing fixtures that use a decreased amount of water than conventional fixtures. They can be the toilet, shower head, faucet among a few. So the target for this money-saving plan is the bathrooms in your home. Low flow fixtures have been known to reduce water consumption by 20% in comparison to the conventional fixture. Less water usage converts to lower water and electric bills since less energy needed to heat water.
How do they work? A high-pressure technique was created that offers the same water pressure level but uses less water than the conventional system. For example, the traditional sink faucet can use more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute (GPM). The new low flow faucet could use as much as 1 GMP less. Less water usage lowers the water bill and it is environmentally friendly. Let’s not forget less hot water needed, therefore, less energy to heat water. A win-win for your wallet and the planet!
Did you know that your toilet consumes 30% of your home’s indoor water? To make matters worse a toilet manufactured before 1994 can use up to three times more than a new toilet. Replacing the toilets in your home should probably be first priority if you are considering reducing water consumption. EPA’s WaterSense Program states that replacing older toilets with a WaterSense label can offer a homeowner monetary savings each year.
A low flow toilet or low flush toilet uses half the water that traditional toilets do. They use an average of 1.6 gallons per flush (GPF) in lieu of the use of the traditional toilet of 3.5 GPF. When these toilets first hit the market there was some criticism as to whether they were doing the job of moving waste. Since then (the early 1990s) these fixtures have been perfected and are working wonderfully. The Federal government in 1992 set standards for the flow rate of plumbing fixtures. They provide two flushing options; half flush for liquids only and a full flush for solids. An added benefit to low flow toilets is that they reduce clogs because the drainage passage is larger.
There are two main types of low flow showerheads; aerating and laminar flow. Aerating showerheads mix air with the water and give a mist-type spray where the laminar offers individual streams of water. Taking into consideration that the aerating type creates more steam and moisture. The traditional showerhead uses 2.5 to 5.5 GPM and a low flow showerhead can reduce that by up to half. This is a considerable reduction in water usage and can lead to a total annual water reduction of 2300 gallons! Multiply that out by the number of showers in your home and the savings can be significant. Again we reiterate that this will also produce savings on your energy bill since less water is being heated annually.
Responsible for the least amount of water consumption faucets can use about 15% of the water in a home. A low flow faucet can reduce water usage of nearly 500 gallons per year. This can, of course, reduce your energy bill just like replacing the showerhead. Along with all the low flow fixtures installing them into your home is eco-friendly and contributes to sustainability on the planet.
Low Flow or Energy Star
Other water consumers in your home are the dishwasher and clothes washer. Though they do not make low flow washers and dishwashers there are Energy Star rated products on the market. Energy Star appliances offer a reduction in water usage and energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR is the trusted, government-backed symbol for energy efficiency helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices. Check our post on the trend for kitchen appliances too that help save the planet.