For most households there is a significant opportunity for savings when switching shower heads. The savings are in both hot water heating and water purchased.
After heating and cooling, hot water heating is typically the next highest expense for a home with respect to energy. Low flow shower heads can reduce this cost.
Take a look at your current shower head. There should be some indication of the GPM (or gallons per minute) flow rate. A typical shower head would be in the range of 3 GPM - 5 GPM.
Low flow shower heads are in the range of 1 GPM - 2 GPM. I, personally, have a 1.5 GPM shower head. As you might think switching from a 3 GPM shower head to a 1.5 GPM shower head will save you 50% on shower hot water.
The shower head I use is pictured to the left. I have two of them and they work great. The pressure is good and it has some nice features. It is a Waterpik Ecoflow model.
You can get this model at Walmart, Canadian Tire, Home Hardware, Target, Ace Hardware, or Zellers.
To figure out how much you can save, try out the calculator to the right.
First, what type of showerhead do you have. 3 gpm is fairly common (3 gallons per minute). Low flow showerheads are typically 1-2 gpm.
Next, enter the total number of minutes per day that your shower is in use.
Lastly, enter the number of baths taken in your home per month
Play with the number in the usage section. What happens if you change the 3 gpm showerhead to a 1.5 gpm showerhead? You could be saving this amount of money each year. The cost of a showerhead is only 15-30 dollars.
The simple answer is everyone. Even for those that have free water, the payback is less than one year!
Large families / Long shower users - Shower use of 60 minutes per day with a 3 GPM shower head would cost the average family almost $1000 per year - more if your hot water heater is electric or your water is more expensive.
Country Homes - If your water is trucked in the cost is much higher. In a lot of rural locations, natural gas is not available, and your hot water heater is propane or electric. This is the case for me. At my rates 30 minutes of showers daily would cost almost $1800 per year with a 3 GPM shower. Ours is 1.5 GPM and we only shower for about 15 minutes per day ($450 per year).
Areas with High Water Prices - This one is straight forward. If your water prices are high, you should try to use less.
Remember, in addition to changing your shower head, reducing your shower time will save you money!
1. Will my water pressure go down if I install a low flow shower head?
The volume of water is reduced which generally makes it feel like the pressure goes down. Some low flow shower heads are better than others. The best thing to do is to try one - switch your shower head and see if it works for you.
Check out the product below. I am not sure if I am convinced as I have not tried it myself. My 1.5 GPM shower head works great (see above).
2. Where can a get a low flow shower head?
At you local hardware store or most big box stores.
3. How do I install a low flower shower head?
See the video below.
4. How much does a shower head impact the environment?
Reducing your water consumption is important for the environment. It takes significant amounts of energy to treat the water that you use at waste water treatment facilities.
For the most part, the energy that we use is produced or shipped by one form or another of fossil fuel burning equipment. For instance a power plant that burns natural gas to produce power. Or the natural gas processing industry that requires energy to clean the gas and to pressurize it for transport.