Are Low-Flow Fixtures Worth It?
In the past, low-flow water fixtures have had a reputation for not performing as well as traditional faucets, shower heads, and toilets. However, low-flow technology has improved significantly in the last decade, and installing low-flow water fixtures in your home is an excellent way to reduce energy consumption and save money.
If you are on the fence about low-flow water fixtures, we have compiled four important factors to consider:
1) Low-Flow Is Better Than It Used To Be
There is an old episode of the popular Fox cartoon King of the Hill, where the Hills install new low-flow toilets in their home. Low-flow technology was fairly new at the time, and the Hills are embarrassed that their new toilet requires multiple flushes to adequately dispose of waste. Eventually the family returns to their old regular-flow toilets.
The stereotype of the ineffective low-flow water fixtures is no longer an accurate depiction of modern low-flow technology. Low-flow water fixtures are more capable of meeting homeowners’ needs than ever. New toilets are designed to recognize the difference between solids and liquids and flush accordingly. Types of new low-flow toilets include:
- Pressure-Assisted: Flushing is assisted by air pressure inside the tank, reducing water usage by 45%, while completely disposing of waste.
- Gravity-Fed: Conventional gravity low-flows have improved drainage passages to reduce instances of clogging.
2) Low-Flow Fixtures Reduce Energy Consumption
Low-flow water fixtures maximize energy efficiency and reduce your overall energy consumption. According to the Green Spotlight:
“If one out of every 100 American homes were retrofitted with water-efficient fixtures, that would save about 100 million kWh of electricity per year—avoiding 80,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions: equivalent to removing nearly 15,000 automobiles from the road for one year.”
Low-flow is good for the environment and an easy step you can take toward energy independence.
3) Low-Flow Saves Homeowners Money
If every home in the United States replaced their traditional water fixtures with low-flow units, it would save almost 18 billion dollars annually. For the average homeowners, low-flow fixtures can cut your water bill in half. Though low-flow fixtures may cost more upfront, homeowners can recover the cost in less than a year in most instances.
4) Low-Flow Is The Future
Low-flow fixtures will likely be mandatory in every home in the near future. Many states, including North Carolina, have passed statues requiring low-flow fixtures in all new construction and major renovations. There are often state-specific and federal tax incentives for installing low-flow fixtures.
If you are replacing plumbing fixtures, consider the energy efficient value of installing low-flow water fixtures. Especially combined with a natural gas tankless water heater, or a high efficiency electric hybrid unit, low-flow fixtures can significantly reduce your energy consumption—saving you money and helping the environment.