What's the most effective way you can conserve water in your home? Install faucet aerators and low flow shower heads. They're quick and easy-to-install, are low cost, and will result in a water savings of about 30% to 50%. And because you'll be using less hot water, you'll also be saving energy. So not only will you be saving money on your water bill, but on your natural gas or electric bill as well. The savings will pay the costs of your new shower heads and aerators within weeks at which point the continued savings are free. Water efficient products also have the added benefit of being great for the environment.
Do you need a faucet aerator?
Most faucets today have threads that will accept an aerator. Make sure you check your faucets first. Look for these threads on the inside tip of the faucet. If you already have an aerator attached, check for the imprint of it's flow rate. If it reads higher than 2.6 gallons per minute (GPM), consider replacing it. Price range is only about $7 to $11.
Do you need a new shower head?
Set a five gallon bucket on the floor of your shower and turn the shower on. Most of the old-style high-flow shower heads will fill the bucket in less than a minute. But even if it fills that bucket in less than two minutes, you could use a low-flow shower head. All low-flow showerheads should be marked 2.5 gallons-per-minute (GPM) or less. Prices vary from as low as $9 to $40 or more.
Two types of low flow showerheads
Aerating - The majority of low-flow shower heads are of this type. This type of shower head will mix the water with air. This helps ensure a full spray pattern with a steady flow and even pressure. Since the water has air mixed with it, it may actually reduce the water temperature somewhat.
Non-Aerating - Usually produces a stronger water spray in a pulse (massaging) manner. This is a less popular shower head design but has the added benefit of doing a great job at maintaining the water temperature. The water is not mixed with air.
Unscrew your old showerhead or aerator. Wrap a strip of white plumber's teflon tape around the threads. Then screw your new showerhead or aerator on to the faucet or shower arm.
Your shower head accounts for about a quarter of all your individual water consumption. Replacing your old high-flow shower head with a new low-flow shower head today saves you money and helps the planet.