Find out why they are gaining popularity and learn what you can do to save water, money, and the environment.
Low-flow fixtures have become a common sight in most homes today, and for good reason. Eco-friendly bathroom faucets, shower heads, and dual-flush toilets can make a big impact on your water bills and water savings!
Low-flow versus water-efficient, what's the difference?
The EPA has strict standards for "low-flow" fixtures. So be sure to look for the EPA’s WaterSense label. Products without the label may reduce water usage but not nearly as well as a true "low-flow" fixture. In some cases, low-flow fixtures reduce water usage by almost 60% over standard fixtures.
Low-flow toilets are huge water savers
Toilets are responsible for around 30% of your home's water usage. Even more surprising, is the fact that if your toilet is more than 15 years old, (1994 or earlier) it uses three times more water than a newer model does. This makes upgrading to a more water-efficient toilet one of the most impactful things you can do.
The improvements in low-flow toilets have made them a much better option than their older counterparts. With the help of modern technology, we now have low-flow toilets that are designed to produce a clog-free flush.
You can choose between a gravity-flow or a pressure-assist toilet system; both work great! The variety of toilet tanks has also improved.
Still not convinced? Here are the GPF numbers - that's Gallons Per Flush. Older toilets can use up to six gallons of water per flush. Newer low-flow models use less than 1.6 gallons per flush, and if you use the small button on a dual-flush valve system that amount drops to less than a gallon.
What's your shower preference, soothing or steamy?
There are two main types of low-flow shower heads: aerating and laminar.
Aerator shower heads mix air with water to create a fine spray or mist. As water flows through small holes in a screen, it increases the water pressure. Aerators also lower the water temperature slightly and create very steamy showers.
Laminar shower heads create large streams of water, like rainfall, which many people find very soothing. They're ideal for poorly ventilated areas too because they do not create much humidity.
If you're unsure which type is best for you, we recommend using low-flow shower heads that include handheld devices, so you can direct the water pressure when you need to.
Faucets and faucet accessories are continually improving
One of the easiest ways to make your home a more environmentally friendly place is by installing new low-flow faucets and or faucet accessories. It's also one of the most popular. Houzz recently reported that 4 of 5 home renovations included an upgraded faucet.
If you're not ready to replace your faucet, but you’d like to conserve more water, you can add a faucet aerator to your existing faucet. This short video will show you how easy they are to install.
WaterSense labeled faucets can reduce your water usage by 30% or more whereas faucets that use aerators results in an average of 42% reduction. Best of all, you won't even notice a difference in their performance. Plus, they work on all faucets including your bathroom, utility, and kitchen faucets.
Going green is more attractive to prospective home buyers
A recent study has shown that home buyers care about sustainable solutions. REALTORS® recently released a report on which features are most important to their clients, with utility bills and operation costs steadily climbing to the top of the list.
In today's market, a home's efficiency is ranked number four, making it one of the most important factors people consider when buying property.
|What features are most important when looking for a home?||2021||2020||2019|
|Windows/doors/siding (e.g. age, quality)||86%||87%||87%|
|Proximity to frequently visited places (e.g. grocery store, school, highway, etc.||87%||86%||85%|
|Comfortable living space||95%||78%||76%|
|A home's utility bills/ operations costs||77%||77%||75%|
|A home's efficient use of lighting (e.g. Energy Star fixtures, LED bulbs)||48%||49%||46%|
|Smart / connected home||41%||46%||45%|
|Impact of extreme weather||-||44%||40%|
|Green community features (e.g. bike lanes, green spaces, placemaking, etc.)||36%||39%||37%|
|Landscaping for water conservation||32%||33%||30%|
|Renewable energy systems (e.g. solar, geothermal, etc.)||26%||26%||25%|
REALTORS® release date April, 2021
If you're thinking of making a change, we urge you to consider both the financial and environmental impacts, and give low-flow fixtures a try. There are many innovative products out there, and they come in various styles and sizes.
So, when you're ready to go green, give us a call. We can help you save water and money by installing fixtures that will fit your needs perfectly.