Go low-flow when choosing new plumbing fixtures. Low-flow faucets and showerheads use an aerator to mix air and water to keep volume the same while using less water. Regulations for new low-flow showerheads dictate that flow rates cannot exceed 2.5 gallons per minute at a water pressure of 80 pounds per square inch; showerheads made before 1992 may have a flow rate of over 5.5 gallons per minute, more than doubling the flow of today’s low-flow options. Older toilets can be using over 3 gallons of water per flush, while new low-flow models only use around a gallon. Switching to low-flow fixtures will help you conserve 25% to 60% of your current water use!
Fixing leaky plumbing fixtures helps save water as well as energy used by solar hot water systems. If the hot water tap is leaking, you’re not just wasting water; you’re wasting energy, too, if a backup hot water source is in operation. Hot water or not, just one leaking faucet can waste over 1000 gallons of water over the course of a year.
Making these 2 switches around the home will help you save water and energy when using solar hot water systems. For more advice on how you can make your solar hot water systems more efficient, contact Smith Sustainable Design.