Do you use low flow showerheads at home? If you're not sure, here's a simple test: measure the time it takes for your showerheads to each fill a 1-gallon bucket; if each take less than 20 seconds to fill up, then they need to be replaced. Why? Because low flow showerheads will save you money by helping you use significantly less water. Better still, unlike low flow showerheads of yesteryear, today's showerheads are engineered to provide satisfying showers, affordable (prices starting around $10), and easy to install and maintain. To help you decide which is the best low flow showerheads for you, here are a few things to consider:
Gallons per minute (gpm).
Standard showerheads are 2.5 gpm. To maximize on water savings without compromising on water pressure or shower experience, 1.5 gpm is the lowest you want to go. Many excellent low flow showerheads are between 1.5 gpm and 2.0 gpm, and provide savings of 10% to 40% off your water and utility bills. In dollar terms, that's a savings of $75 to $230 or 2,700 to 7,665 gallons of water per year.
Aerating or Non-aerating
To "use less water," some showerheads add air through the water stream ("aerating"). Contrastingly, non-aerating showerheads use other methods to force the water through the water stream. The benefit: the water stays hotter between the showerhead and you.
In addition to lower gpms, low flow showerheads have evolved to pack in state of the art technology such as:
- Hot water savings. Some showerheads and shower arm adapters have integrated hot water saving technology. For example, when the running water reaches a certain temperature (e.g., 95° F), the device reduces the water stream to a trickle. This is both to save and to signal the hot water that's ready for use.
- More water savings. Many lines of showerheads offer switches (i.e., on the showerhead or handle) for you to pause the water flow while you're shaving, shampooing, and lathering, so that you may prevent even more unnecessary spending of water in the shower.
- Self-pressurizing. To elevate the shower experience, some shower heads have built-in self-pressurizing technology. For example, some automatically adapt to low and variable water pressure to deliver a great shower regardless of water pressure.
- Usability. Fixed mount showerheads with offset balls for better showerhead angle adjustment or multi-spray patterns for variety and relaxation are offered to further enhance your shower experience. Often, the size of the showerhead (diameter) and number of nozzles, together with the variety of spray patterns elevate the usability.
- Convenience. Most low flow showerheads are easy to install, and typically include features such as anti-clogging, self-cleaning nozzles and anti-corrosion fixtures.
Gone are the days of the plain white design - today's low flow showerheads come in all different colors (e.g., chrome, brushed nickel, oil rubbed bronze), shapes, and styles to complement any bathroom décor.