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Want to save money on your utility bills? Low-flow fixtures can lower both your water and energy bills. Simple changes can save money each month for years to come.
Here are a few options to boost your home’s water efficiency:
This simple and low-cost home improvement project works by mixing air with water for a consistent flow, reducing the water output of your sink. It can pay for itself in water and water heating energy savings in less than a year, especially when installed on sinks that get a lot of use. Basic sink aerators typically cost between $5 and $10 dollar and can reduce water use by up to 60%.
To get started, simply check to see if there are threads on the inside of the tip of the faucet to accept the aerator. Most newer faucets are designed for aerators, but some older faucets may not be.
Purchase a sink aerator that uses less than 2.75 gallons per minute (gpm). If you already have an aerator on your sink, make sure it uses a value of less than or equal to 2.75 gpm. If the quantity is greater, replace it for further energy and water savings.
Remove the existing aerator if there is one, using channel-lock pliers, vise-grips, or a small pipe wrench. Unscrew it gently to avoid damaging the threats.
Wrap a single layer of white pipe tape around the threads of the new aerator, then put a rubber washer in.
Screw the aerator onto your faucet by hand. Test the faucet to see if water leaks from the new aerator. If it does, tighten it further by hand or use a pliers to tighten it, with a damp cloth between the pliers and the aerator to avoid scratching it.
Did you know that nearly 1.2 trillion gallons of water are used each year in the U.S. (according to the Environmental Protection Agency)...Just for showers? This can amount to more than 15% of residential indoor water use. Retrofitting your shower to use less water is a great way to reduce this amount, helping you save water and energy while simultaneously benefitting the environment.
Low-flow showerheads can lower water use and hot water heating by 50%; such a fixture can cost between $8 and $50, depending on its features. Look at the rating of your current showerhead to determine if it is greater than 2.5 gpm. If so, replace it with a showerhead that uses 2.5 gpm or less by following the directions above.
Between 1980 and 1994, most toilets models used 3.5 gallons per flush, or roughly 20 gallons of water per person per day. Prior to 1980, toilets used 5 to 7 gallons per flush. Toilets made after 1994 use a mere 1.6 gallons per flush, resulting in significant household water savings. Consider replacing toilets that use more than 3.5 gallons per flush with more efficient models.
Retrofit kits are also available to reduce the water consumption of toilets. Water displacement products reduce the water use of toilets that use more than 3.5 gallons per flush. Dual-flush conversion kits reduce the amount of water per flush for liquid waste only, typically by 50% to 70%. These kits typically require removal of the flush valve and replacement with a dual-flush valve.
Numerous retrofit kits are available, with some requiring more technical skills and time to install than others. Some kits are also be more effective and durable than others.