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!
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!)
- Chasinggreen.com has useful info and tips for choosing and installing aerators.
- The Department of Energy Energy Savers page has more information and some great tips on saving water and energy with low-flow devices.
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.