Are you looking to update your bathroom? There are many options available on the market today, but not all of them are created equally when it comes to performance, efficiency, and quality. There are certain kinds of products that are specifically designed to cut down utility costs, while also saving a lot of water that is usually unnecessarily wasted.
Less than 1% of the water on Earth can be used by people; the rest of it is either salt water or frozen. This fact makes it imperative that we conserve when we can and use water as efficiently as possible. The EPA reports that if all U.S. households replaced their current, outdated fixtures and appliances with water-efficient ones, the country would save over 3 trillion gallons of water and over $18 billion dollars every year!
Toilets often account for nearly 30% of an average home’s indoor water consumption, more than any other fixture in the entire house. Older toilets that were manufactured before 1992 use up to 3.5 gallons of water per flush, states the EPA. Swapping your old toilets for water-efficient toilets can save an average family of four around $2000 in water bills over the toilet’s lifetime. Three types of high-efficiency toilets are described below.
Dual-Flush: These toilets have two flush volumes, one for solids and the other for liquids, which uses half the amount of water per flush. The American Water Works Association estimates that while conventional toilets use close to 8 gallons of water per person every day, dual-flush toilets use merely 4.8 gallons.
Pressure-Assist: Many of these toilets use only 1 gallon of water per flush. This is because the water pressure is increased by compressed air, augmenting the force by which waste is flushed, leaving the toilet bowl even cleaner than a typical toilet. Another advantage of these systems is the elimination of condensation on the outside of the tank that we commonly see on toilets. This is due to the fact that the water is contained in a plastic tank that sits inside the ceramic one. This keeps the flooring around the area safe from water damage that could lead to mold, mildew, and rot.
Composting Toilets: This type of toilet is available for those who truly want to be as “green” as possible. They require very little to no water, they are useful for areas that are rural, suburban, or unsewered.
Faucets account for more than 15% of indoor household water usage, according to the EPA. A touchless faucet can help you conserve a lot of water, while also keeping your bathroom more sanitary. There is a sensor that can determine when your hands are underneath the spout, turning on and off accordingly. This eliminates wasting water that can be the result of teeth brushing, shaving, not getting the water turned off completely, or forgetting to shut off the faucet when leaving the room.
If you aren’t interested in replacing your faucet at this time, consider simply updating the aerator. This is the screw on the tip of the faucet that determines the maximum flow rate. This is an inexpensive, effective, and efficient solution.
Showers & Baths
Showering accounts for close to 17% of indoor water consumption in the U.S. A great option for adding both luxury and water-efficiency is replacing your current shower with a steam shower. Besides turning your bathroom into a spa-like experience, steam baths and showers are now affordable, easy to install, and offer a variety of benefits. The steam can provide relief to those who suffer from respiratory illnesses, such as asthma. Steam showers use very little water, which is an advantage especially to those who enjoy long showers. Steaming for 20 minutes only uses about 2 gallons of water! Steam baths are relaxing and are able to increase metabolism and circulation, relax muscles, clear sinuses, ease tension, and clean and moisturize the skin.
There are shower fixtures available that are very affordable, with the ability to produce 25-60% in water savings. A high-efficiency showerhead has a flow rate of fewer than 2.5 gallons per minute for maximum water efficiency. Many showerheads manufactured in 1992 or earlier have flow rates of 5.5 gallons per minute. Consider replacing yours if it was created before this time.