Imagine cutting your water use by 30 percent or more. That’s the advantage of low-flow showerheads and faucets. These fixtures are engineered to use substantially less water without sacrificing performance and comfort. Here’s what you need to know about upgrading.

Take a More Efficient Shower

The average family uses 40 gallons a day showering, accounting for nearly 17 percent of water use, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Simply swapping out your old showerhead with a new one will curb the amount of gallons going down drain. That’s because the federal standard for all new showerheads is 2.5 gallons per minute. Which is good. But there’s an even more efficient option.

Showerheads with the WaterSense label cannot exceed 2 gallons per minute with some of the highest performing models using as little as 1.5 gallons per minute. WaterSense-labeled showerheads can save the average household about 2,700 gallons a year.

Among low-flow showerheads, you have two options to consider:

Some showerheads that predate federal efficiency standards have flow rates of 5.5 gallons per minute. Here’s how to tell if your current showerhead is a water hog:

Replace Faucets, Too

Don’t underestimate how much water your bathroom faucets use. WaterSense faucets use no more than 1.5 gallons a minute compared to the federal standard of 2.2. Simply replacing your faucets with WaterSense models can save about 700 gallons per year.

Beyond Water Savings

The hot water heater is the second biggest electricity user in the home. Showering uses 10 gallons of hot water per use, while bathroom faucets use 2 gallons of hot water per minute. That’s another advantage of low-flow fixtures: The less hot water you use, the more money you save.

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