Test Your Shower Usage
Showers account for more than one-fifth of the water Americans use every day. We can conserve more of this precious resource with a low-flow showerhead. If you’re not convinced you need to cut your water flow, put a 2-quart pan under your showerhead and turn it on. If it takes less than 12 seconds to fill the pan, you could conserve.
How Low-Flow Showerheads Work
Low-flow showerheads limit flow to two and a half gallons per minute or less and cost between $8 and $50. Contrary to popular belief, they do not reduce the water pressure of your shower. Some mix the water with air, others pulse and some are elevated to provide a rain shower effect. For between $70 and $250, you can buy one that will even filter chlorine and other chemicals from your water for a truly clean shower that won’t dry out your skin.
When and How to Replace Your Faucet
Take a look at the end of your faucet: Most are threaded to receive an aerator. If your existing aerator has a number greater than 2.75 GPM written on it or there isn’t one at all, it’s an easy upgrade to install. Remove the old one by turning it to the left. If it’s stuck, gently use vice grips or tongue-and-groove pliers. Add a piece of Teflon tape over the faucet threads before screwing on the new one to form a tight seal.
Save Money as Well as Water
Faucet aerators only cost $5 to $10 and will pay for themselves in water savings in only a few months. Installing faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads in your home is one of the best ways to reduce your environmental footprint, and it can save you 50 percent of your water and hot water costs to boot.
For more on energy saving, consider:
How To: Save Energy at Home
Bob Vila’s 50 Shades of Green
It’s All in the Flush! Low-Flow Toilets’ High Impact