There are many ways to conserve water around the home, besides cutting back on shower time. You could shave as much as 50% off your water bill by installing low-flow showerheads and aerators. But before making this simple but effective change in your home, here are a few details you need to know about faucet aerators.
What is an aerator?
Named because of their ability to mix air with water, aerators are fixtures on the end of faucets with a mesh screen attached to the bottom. The mesh screen stops water from coming out as a full stream and instead splits it into smaller streams mixed with air to create an even, consistent flow of water coming out of the faucet.
There are two common types of low-flow aerators to consider: bubble spray and needle spray. Both types provide high water pressure while using lower energy and water but come with a few differences.
The bubble spray model releases water as small bubbles that are then passed though the flowing water.
Needle spray aerators have 18 individual streams but still provide a high level of water pressure.
Tamper-proof or not?
Tamper-proof faucet aerators are made so that they cannot be easily taken out, played with, etc. These types of aerators are especially helpful in commercial settings, such as restaurants or hotels.
Threading refers to how you will install the aerator to the outset of the faucet, or more specifically, the sprout. To determine which threading you need, the male or female, look at the edges (threading) that go around or on the inside of the aerator. The threads on the outside mean the aerator is a male and will install on the inside of a sprout, while the female aerator has threads on the inside and will install on the outside of a sprout.
Low-flow faucet aerators are a very inexpensive investment, costing as little as $0.99 per unit, and can pay for themselves in under a week.
To get the maximum savings from low-flow aerators, make sure you purchase one that uses 0.5-1.5 GPM, or gallons per minute. Older, non-aerated faucets can use as much as 2.5-3.0 gallons of water, causing an average use of 15% more water than necessary.
Sometimes it takes a shockingly high water bill to wake us up to the benefits and ease of water conservation. Fortunately in just a few minutes, and minimal investment, you can add or change out old aerators and reduce your energy and water consumption and monthly bill.