Save water and energy by installing low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators

Conserving energy and water is a year-round effort that saves you money while lightening the load on the planet. But around every April 22, Earth Day is a great time to think about what more you can do.

Don’t be a drip: run the numbers

Low-flow showerheads can cut your water usage by up to 50%. That trims your water bill, of course, but it also reduces the amount of energy it takes to heat all that water you’re wasting. Up to 25% of the average home’s energy bill  goes for heating hot water!  

Photo by Flickr user uzi978

Faucet aerators inject air into the water as it leaves the faucet, saving you anywhere from 2 to 15 gallons of water a  day in your bathroom. And you don’t have to replace your faucets – you can easily add aerators to what you already have.

A low-flow showerhead can save 35 gallons of water during a 10-minute shower. How much water are you wasting? Find out how with the American Water Works Association’s WaterWiser Drip Calculator.

Newer homes and apartment complexes may already have low-flow showerheads in place. If your showerhead  says “2.5 gpm” or a lower number, you’re good. You can also find out with this method: Put a two-quart pan in the shower, turn on the water. If filling the pan takes more than 12 seconds, you need to go low-flow.

If you’re concerned about having to take a wimpy shower with no water pressure, no worries. Thanks to  a law of nature called the Venturi Effect, showerheads on the market today inject air into the water stream and provide just as good a shower as your water-wasting old ones. (The Venturi Effect also explains why your shower curtain flies toward the shower when the water’s running!)

Learn more

Do you have low-flow devices in your home? How are they working out for you? Tell us in the comments below. To get a steady stream of energy-saving tips, be sure to follow the DE Blog.