Low-Flow Faucets and Showerheads: The Sensible Way to Save Water
Unless you’re accustomed to taking “Navy showers” in your household, showering is probably one of the largest water expenditures your home has. In fact, before new showerhead regulations went into effect in 1992, some showerheads had water flow rates of up to 5.5 gallons per minute – nearly a full gallon of water use every 10 seconds. These days, faucet and showerhead flow rates can’t be higher than 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm), but low-flow faucets and showerheads are available to cut down your water use even further.
Water bills and water conservation aren’t the only reason to consider low-flow faucets and showerheads, either. 20-30 percent of your home’s energy use typically goes to water heating in your home, and the more water is used while showering and washing, the more energy has to be used. Using less overall water by installing low-flow fixtures can decrease your energy bills, as well.
There are two main forms of low-flow showerheads: aerating showerheads and laminar-flow showerheads. Aerating models mix a certain amount of air with the water, which leads to the wide field of droplets many people associate with a generous flow of water and can feel like there’s been no overall reduction in water flow. Laminar-flow models, by contrast, produce thin individual streams of water, which reduce the amount of moisture introduced to the air and can be a wise investment for homes with humidity problems.
On faucets, the flow rate is generally controlled by the aerator, which screws onto the tip of the faucet and separates a single water stream into multiple smaller streams for greater coverage. Aerators are commonly installed with flow rates up to 2.2 gpm, but can easily be upgraded to reduce flow rates to a single gallon per minute, or even lower.
If you’re interested in learning more about conserving water and lowering bills through low-flow faucets and showerheads in your Wilmington-area home, call us today at Sobieski Services, Inc.
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