Thanks in part to water-efficient plumbing fixtures, home water consumption in the U.S. is declining. However, if your home is more than 10 years old and hasn’t been upgraded, your monthly water bill may not be as low as it could be. The average household in this country still uses about 300 gallons of water every day — far more than most other developed nations. Experts report that this number could be cut by as much as 30 percent by updating to water-efficient plumbing fixtures.
Here are a few efficient options to cut home water costs:
Water-Saving Shower Heads
A standard shower head can use up to four gallons per minute (gpm). Since the average American spends eight minutes in the shower, that’s a substantial amount of water going down the drain. You can cut usage in half by installing a water-saving shower head that uses just two gallons per minute.
If your bathroom and kitchen faucets are older, they may dispense up to seven gpm. Standards adopted since then have lowered faucet output to 2.2 gpm. However, current water-conserving faucets with certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program go even further, delivering 1.5 gpm.
Next-Generation Washing Machines
Washing machines manufactured 15 years ago consumed as much as 40 gallons of water to wash a single load of laundry. Today, next-generation washers with the highest efficiency ratings use only an average of 13 gallons per load. What’s more, they also consume about 25 percent less electricity.
Toilets are the biggest water users in most households. Toilet flushing alone accounts for 27 percent of total water consumption. Because they tend not to wear out, toilets in older homes are often original equipment, still delivering water consumption that belongs to a bygone era—as much as five gallons per flush (gpf). Post-1994 toilets reduced that figure to today’s standard maximum of 1.6 gpf. However, installing a high-efficiency toilet certified by WaterSense can bring that figure down even further to just 1.29 gpf.