How High-Efficiency Low Flow Fixtures Save You MoneyBack when we were under the Stage 4 restrictions, using too much water meant potential fines and penalties, required for the San Juan Water District to help reduce water usage by 36% overall. Those restrictions have been reduced now, and residents are under a voluntary 10% reduction, but if we aren’t careful, we’ll end up going back to the restrictions that not only come with penalties, but eliminate a lot of the incentives for voluntarily reducing our water usage. Here’s how low flow fixtures can help:
- Reduce water usage: Shower heads and sink faucets account for roughly 23% of all water used in the average home. Just by installing low flow shower heads and faucets alone, you can save up to a quarter of your water bill each month.
- Save on heating bills: Heating the water in your home also requires energy, which affects your electric bill. By reducing the water consumed, you reduce the amount that needs to be heated.
High-Efficiency Water Fixtures Perfect for Your Granite Bay HomeInstalling high-efficiency low flow fixtures in your home doesn’t require a large overhaul of your plumbing system, nor is it a huge investment—even small changes to your fixtures can make a difference. The plumbing fixtures you should consider changing to low flow are:
- Faucets: Faucet heads have a small device where the water comes out called an aerator. You can see the gallons per minute (GPM) written on the side of it. If it’s over 2.75 GPM, you should replace it with a low flow fixture that is 2.5 GPM or less. This can be as easy as unscrewing the aerator from the faucet head and replacing it with another inexpensive low flow aerator found at any home improvement store.
- Toilets: On average, 75% of indoor water is used in the bathroom, and 25% of that water use is from flushing your toilet. The average toilet uses 4 gallons per flush (GPF), so by replacing your toilet with a low flow toilet, you can cut that water usage in half. Speaking from experience, this is best done by a plumbing professional to avoid any costly mistakes.
- Showerheads: If you have family members that like to take long showers, this could easily be the biggest culprit of water use in your home. The average 8-minute shower, for example, can use up to 17 gallons of water. Similar to faucets, showerheads should also be 2.5 GPM or less to be considered low flow, but consider trading yours out with one that is 1.5 GPM or less to see big savings.
Additional Ways to Save Water at HomeIt’s difficult to discuss water conserving fixtures without also talking about other water conserving equipment and methods that go hand-in-hand with the ones mentioned above. After all, in Granite Bay, we’re still being asked to make some big changes when it comes to our water use. Other ways to cut down on your water use include installing the following:
- Tankless water heaters: These heaters are great for conserving water and energy by only heating water when a faucet is turned on and calling for it. These are a great pairing with low flow aerators and shower heads.
- Rain collectors: Rain barrels are a great way to water your lawn without using any water from the San Juan Water District. Just depend on Mother Nature to supply about 34” of rain a year in Granite Bay—collect it from your gutters by piping them down to a large rain collection barrel. This water can then be used to water outdoor plants and grasses during periods of little to no precipitation. The best part is, you can receive up to $500 in rebates to pay for the entire system thanks to the WELL Program.
- High-efficiency clothes washers: New high-efficiency washers can save water and energy by using less water in each cycle for a load of laundry. They also have faster spin cycles that remove excess water, reducing the dry time as well. Consult a plumbing professional about the requirements for hooking up a new high-efficiency washer in your home.