Showers are an area where the average homeowner can save a lot of water and energy for a relatively low cost. Showers use approximately 16.8% of you total indoor water usage. With the average shower consuming 17.2 gallons of water and lasting over 8 minutes at a flow rate of 2.2 gallons per minute, there is a big opportunity to save water and money when showering.
The most obvious way to save water is by replacing older showerheads with a low-flow showerhead. Older showerheads can use as much as 6.5 gallons per minute (gpm) compared to the 2.5 gpm or less of low-flow showerheads. Installing a low-flow showerhead could save as much as 70% on your water bill. This is especially important if you have multiple people living in your home. Perhaps the best part is that low-flow showerheads still provide a variety of features we have become accustomed to - adjustable spray, self-cleaning, pressure-balancing valves to keep temperature constant when water is being used elsewhere, etc. Some showerheads are even equipped with an on/off button or switch that can stop the flow of water entirely while applying soap and shampoo or shaving.
It is estimated that 73% of water used in the average shower is hot water. Reducing the amount of hot water you use can save on hot water heating. If you were to reduce the mixture of hot and cold water to 50:50, you would save approximately 3 gallons of hot water per minute. If you can’t picture yourself reducing the heat level of your shower, you can still save some money on hot water by reducing the time you spend showering. For the standard 2.5 gpm low-flow showerhead, you can save approximately 1.8 gallons of hot water for each minute you shave off your shower time.
While your showerhead won’t save you as much water as a high-efficiency toilet, the upgrade to a low-flow showerhead is relatively inexpensive in comparison and as one of the easiest energy saving measures for a homeowner to perform.
For more ways to save on showers, see our shower tips below.