Erin Doman on December 11, 2015 1 Comment If you take a shower for as little as 10 minutes with an old school shower head, you could be using upwards of 60 gallons of water. Many traditional shower heads offer an output of five or more gallons per minute, or gpm. With a low-flow shower head system, the average is closer to 2.5 gpm, with some faucets offering amounts as low as 1.6, reducing the volume of water used in a single shower to a mere fraction of what was going down the drain before. There are numerous reasons why you should install a low-flow shower head with a lower output including alleviating environmental concerns, being cost efficient, and gaining options in the shower that you likely do not get to enjoy with your current provisions. 1. Environmentally Beneficial The most celebrated aspect of switching to a low-flow shower head is that it is an environmentally conscious decision. It allows you to take an activity performed regularly that is known to waste water and approach it with more eco-responsibility. Water Conservation: This may seem like an obvious benefit, but you might be surprised at how much water is actually conserved. By switching to low-flow, you can save approximately 15,000 gallons of water per person in a single year. In a family of four, this means nearly 60,000 gallons of water is saved annually. Saves Energy: When you use less water, less energy is going towards heating the reserves. This means less activity for your water heater and less electricity going towards keeping it running at high levels. On a larger scale, the less need there is for water to be treated by the city, the less energy there is being utilized to provide this service. Thus, use of electricity is decreased. Carbon Dioxide Emissions: With less electricity being used in general, there is less output of carbon dioxide. Approximately 300 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions are generated in the United States. For every million gallons of water that is conserved, that number can decrease by nearly two metric tons. 2. Increased Options Once upon a time a switch to low-flow shower head meant giving up the frills that allowed you more control over your shower experience. Now, however, there are plenty of choices and add-ons to help you take your shower to the next level. Timer: If you have a tendency to lose track of time while basking beneath the water, a timer will keep you on track. Many low-flow shower heads offer a timing option that can be pre-set and gives you a warning to wash off the suds and wrap it up. Pause: Having a pause function allows you to step out of the stream while you grab a wash cloth or lather up your hair without having unused water shoot straight down the drain. Pause allows you to temporarily shut it off and turn it back on at the same temperature. Stream Control: Having a low-flow shower head does not mean you cannot have stream variation. Many nozzles allow you to vary the water style to meet your preferences, including pulse, mist, and stream. You can also choose shower heads that are attached to the wall and stabilized in a permanent placement as well as ones that can be removed from the wall and are hand held. Aeration: Aeration describes the addition of air to the water flow, allowing fewer gallons per minute to be used. The stream is often more stable with an aerator and results in a steady, even flow with less splash. This is an ideal way to continue having a full spray with less use of water. However, you can avoid aeration in low-flow shower heads if you prefer a forceful stream or one that has more of a pulsing or massaging effect. With changes in technology, low-flow does not have to translate to weak pressure. Temperature Control: Having a temperature control means no more gushing water while trying to get it to that perfect place. Instead, it keeps the stream to a trickle while you wait for water to warm up or attempt to balance the hot and cold to create your preferred shower environment, saving the full flow for when you are actually standing beneath it. Volume Control: Sometimes you need a little more water than others, based on the activities of the day or projects on which you have been working. Just finished a muddy run? Open the flow to its highest level to ensure you get all the spatterings of dirt out of your hair. Need a quick rinse off to wake up from a lazy morning? Lower the levels accordingly. 3. Economical Even if eco conservation is not high on your priority list, saving money probably is. With a low-flow shower head you will see money saved in a variety of ways. Your water bill will go down substantially, with a reduction of nearly half the amount in some cases. If you are willing to increase your initial investment to get a wide array of additional options, you can increase your savings. Your energy bill is another area where you can see a swift change in the amount of money you get to keep in your wallet. When you use less water, you are allowing your water heater to work a little less hard. It also takes less energy to reheat the tank when you can take a shower without depleting your reserves. These savings become even more substantial if you opt for the temperature control function, keeping your tank from having to waste a bunch of its hot water while waiting for you to find the right temperature before getting in. You can find a simple low-flow shower head for as low as $10, but you can find one with a number of additions for $100 or more. Fortunately, the money you save with your utilities will usually offset your initial investment in a matter of months or less, depending on your current water output. This allows you to begin seeing your savings soon after you make the switch. Do not let the fear of having a less fulfilling shower or an initial cost keep you from making adjustments. Research the options that are available and choose the low-flow shower head that is right for you, knowing you are making an impact ecologically as well as in your wallet.