Reduce your water consumption

Increase your home efficiency, reduce your carbon footprint and save money

In this page we are documenting those water saving opportunities which we have tested or are deemed to have solid potential for reducing water consumption.

Five proven ways to save water at home

Before going ahead, we really recommend to first have a look to the Effiworkx YouTube channel videos. On those videos we explain concepts that will be of your interest.

1 - Install a water saving tap aerator

Old faucet models run on average of around 15 liters of water per minute while a standard aerator can reduce the water usage to as little as 6 liters per minute. Water saving tap aerators can reduce the water consumption even further and due to their low cost and easy installation are most definitely a water saving method to have in consideration.

We have installed a water saving tap aerator to a bathroom tap and the results speak by themselves

Water saving tap aerator bathroom
Standard tap aerator Water saving tap aerator
1 liter of water every 6 seconds1 liter of water every 15 seconds
10 liters of water per minute3,8 liters of water per minute
5 liters x 10 minutes per day = 50 liters per day3,8 liters x 5 minutes per day = 19 liters per day
50 liters x 220 days per year = 16,500 liters per year19 liters x 330 days per year = 6,270 liters per year
16,500 liters x 2 euro cubic meter = 33 euro per year 6,270 liters x 2 euro cubic meter = 12,5 euro per year

For more information, have a look to this post or have a look to this video.

YouTube Video: How to install a water saving tap aerator – Reduce your faucet water consumption and save money

We are working towards making the videos available in different languages so, if English is not your main language, have a look to our YouTube channel for other language options.

Use the following calculator to:

– Calculate the water consumption and the water cost before and after installing a water saving tap aerator.

 

2 - Install a water flow reduction valve and reduce your shower water consumption

We have measured our shower head water flow and found out that we are using 11 liters a minute, not as many liters as an old model but still far away from a low flow shower head.

We have both tried to reduce our water consumption by installing a low flow shower head and also a water flow reduction valve. The low flow shower head that we bought claimed to reduce the water consumption up to 30% and it has been a disappointment because we have achieved a water saving of only 1%. Instead, the flow reduction valve has significantly reduced our water consumption.

Shower water flow reduction valve
Shower water usageliters/dayliters/monthliters/year
Old model: 19 liters/min x 8 min/shower 1524,56055,480
Low flow model: 9 liters/min x 8 min/shower722,16026,280
Shower water cost per year
Old models at 2 euro per cubic meter of water110,96 euro
New model at 2 euro per cubic meter of water52,56 euro
For more information, have a look to this post or have a look to this video.
 
 
We are working towards making the videos available in different languages so, if English is not your main language, have a look to our YouTube channel for other language options.
 
Use the following calculator to:
– Calculate the water consumption and the water cost before and after installing a flow reduction valve.
 

3 - High efficiency toilets and dual flushing toilets

Older toilet models use up to 15 liters per flush while new toilet models use between 6 to 10 liters of water per flush where high efficiency toilets can go below even 5 liters of water. Dual flush toilets use 6 liters of water for solid waster and only 3 liters for liquid waste.

For anyone thinking about if the investment is worth the consider, we have made some calculations that may be of help. Note that this calculations are only to be used as orientation and we encourage each individual to make its own assessment.

Dual Flushing Toilets
Toilets water usageliters/dayliters/monthliters/year
Old model: 15 liters x 10 flushes per day150 4,500 54,750
New model: 6 liters x 10 flushes per day601,80021,900
Dual model: 6 liters x 4 solid waste flushes per day247208,760
Dual model: 3 liters x 6 liquid waste flushes per day185406,570
Dual model water usage421,26015,330
Toilet typeCost per year
Old model at 2 euro per cubic meter109 euro
New model at 2 euro per cubic meter44 euro
Dual model at 2 euro per cubic meter31 euro

Use the following calculator to:

– Calculate the water costs and deciding if it makes sense to change an old model toilet for a more energy efficient one.

 

4 - Toilet cistern water saving bags

For those who cannot afford to install a dual flush toilet, a toilet cistern water saving bad may be a more affordable option.
 
Still, we must warn everyone that we haven’t tested this water saving opportunity and our research shows that only around 50% of the people have given a positive review.
 
Until we have made our own tests, we consider this as a potential water saving opportunity that seems to work given some conditions like choosing the right water saving bag for a specific toilet and installing it correctly.

5 - Make sure that your house is water leaks free

Every so often we come across the news that someone we know has got a disproportionate water bill which it was due to a major water leak that went unnoticed for a few months.

But it also may be the case of small water leaks go unnoticed for very long periods, even years, which are draining our pockets at a steady rate so we do not notice, unless we check.

If you haven’t watch it yet, have a look to the video where we show how to read a water meter, because in the video we also show and inexpensive way to look for water leaks. In any case, on the table below we show how much money an water the smallest leak can cause.

1 drop per second DayMonthYear
Water consumption in liters8,62583,319
Water cost at 2 euro per cubic meter0.150,56,2

The simplest way to check for a water leak is to just check at the water meter:

1.- Stop using all water

2.- Record the number on the water meter

3.- Wait for a minimum of five hours (maybe during the night)

4.- Check again the water meter

Water meter

6 - Use your appliances efficiently

Nowadays it is not that expensive to buy energy efficient appliances, like dishwashers or washing machines, that use much less water than older appliances. Still, it is proven that for getting the most from our energy efficient appliances we must use them correctly.

We have put our own home appliances to the test and compared the results between using an standard program or the ‘ Eco’ program. Out of our tests, we have noticed than we use the ‘Eco’ programs the cycles take much longer, well over three hours, but we are saving both in electricity and water.

Washing machine ECO function button
Dishwasher cycles Settings

Now, the question here is if it is worth to wait for over three hours for the dishwasher or the washing machine to finish one single cycle?

Well, it depends on the perspective. Even if you only use once your dishwasher and washing machine per week you will still be saving water, maybe only eight liters but if we multiply that value for thousands of households the number quickly increases to significant numbers.

ApplianceStandard cycleEco cycle
Dishwasher15 liters12 liters
Washing machine47 liters42 liters

For those of us who use the dishwasher and washing machines around 5 times per week, we are already speaking about saving 40 liters of water every week and around 1600 liters of water every year.

From the economic perspective, for those of us who pay 2 euro per cubic meter, 1600 liters only amount to save 2,5 euros per year. But from the environmental impact perspective, if we multiply 1600 liters by thousands of households, using the ‘Eco’ function really makes a big impact into reducing water wastage.

In our house, we always use the ‘Eco’ programs and having to wait 3 hours does not bother us because we have just adjusted our daily routines a little bit. A little bit of awareness and a broader perspective really makes the difference.

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