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Gadgets, Fixtures & New Appliances
Gadgets, Fixtures & New Appliances to Conserve Water & Save Money
Whether you want to conserve water to protect the environment or to save money, there are easy ways to by adding inexpensive, easy to install gadgets: changing standard fixtures to ones that are low flow and high-efficiency; and replacing old, water-wasting appliances with new ones that are high-efficiency and will significantly cut water usage.
Saving water is easy when you automate the process. These inexpensive, time and money-saving devices could cut your water bills by up to 50%.
- Install low flow high-efficiency aerators on all your faucets to reduce water usage by 50%. (WaterSense labeled products use at least 20% less water than standard models.)
- Low flow shower heads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute, reducing water usage by half (50%). (WaterSense labeled products use at least 20% less water than standard models.)
- Dual flush toilet converters Once installed, this mechanism releases a third of the water from a standard flush when the urine flush is used. They are easy to install, but you will have to turn off the water supply to the toilet and remove the water from the tank.
- Adjustable toilet flapper/tank bags reduce the amount of water used with each flush by adjusting the flush rate or taking up space in the toilet's tank. As an alternative, you can also use a plastic bottle filled with water.
- An automatic shower shutoff nozzle sits between the pipe and the showerhead. It allows you to turn off the water while you wash your body and shampoo your hair. Once done, flip the switch and the water will come back on at the temperature it was.
- Smart Shower/ShowerStart technology provides perfect water temperature at a press a button and is capable of adjusting water flow depending on what you are doing. Using its smartphone app, you can track your water usage, habits and trends. It works from a smart device that you can place between your shower head and inlet pipe.
- Timer valves. When added to a faucet, turns water off automatically when its timer goes off.
- Intelligent drains. Digitally measures/reads how much water is used.
- Water diverter. By installing one of these, bathwater or other unused water is diverted to an exterior waste pipe, which sends unused water to an outdoor hose to use on plants and grass.
With technology booming, there are more and more gadgets going on the market that come with their own apps going to enhance water conservation.
- Smart garden system. Once the garden device is inserted into the soil, it tracks light, humidity, temperature, soil nutrition and moisture. The water valve then uses the data collected to smartly control your existing watering system, watering your plants only when needed.
- Droplet sprinklers. Plug the names of plants and their location into the app and the accompanying tool will know when, where and how much water to distribute within a roughly thirty-foot range.
- Rain sensors/rainfall shutoff devices connect to your sprinkler system and shuts it off when there is moisture on the soil from a recent or current rain shower.
- Soaker hoses and drip irrigation systems can cut watering use by up to 50%. Both slowly release water directly onto the plant's roots, which helps minimize evaporation. They can also be set to an irrigation timer.
Replace Appliances & Fixtures
- Replacing old appliances with new high-efficiency models. As technology increases, fixtures and appliances are continually being upgraded to become more and more efficient. So it is important to change the out the old to the new every once in a while.
- Toilets. Toilets use the greatest amount of water in your home. If your house was built before 1992 and the toilets haven't replaced recently, you could benefit from installing a WaterSense labeled toilet that uses 1.28 gallons or less per flush versus the standard 3.5 gallons a flush. A family of four can save 16,000 gallons of water per year by making this change.
- Washing machine. Washers are the second largest water user in your home. If your clothes is old, you should consider replacing it with a high-efficiency (ENERGY STAR) machine which uses four times less energy and has a low water factor. To compare water factors, review certified product list. Previously, front loaders have been more efficient, but new top loaders are beginning to adapt to the high-efficiency design.
- Dishwasher. Is your dishwasher efficient? If it has the ENERGY STAR label on the back, you can rest assured that your dishwasher is 30% more water efficient and 12% more energy efficient and will save an average of 3,870 gallons of water over its lifespan.
- Tankless water heaters. Replacing your water heater with a tankless one will deliver hot water immediately upon turning on the faucet, which reduces water waste while waiting for temperature to adjust.
- Look for the WaterSense label. This label means that the product meets the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) specifications for water efficiency and performance, and are backed by independent, third-party certification. Fixtures and appliances that have WaterSense labels include irrigation controllers, sprinkler bodies, aerators, showerheads, faucets, toilets/urinals, and spay valves. Soon, bath and shower diverters, pool covers, cation exchange water softeners and soil moisture-based control technologies will also be WaterSense labeled.
- Use the Consortium for Energy Efficiency website as a resource to compare water use between models.