Running your dishwasher or washing machine only when fully loaded will save water and energy.
Doing full loads of dishes or laundry reduces the number of loads, which saves water, energy, detergent, time and money.
Using your dishwasher and laundry appliances less frequently saves you time, decreases the noise from running these appliances, leaves more hot water for other uses, and means you can time it to run them only in non peak energy periods. You might need to buy yourself a few more pairs of socks and underwear to last between laundry loads, and if you often run out of dishware before the dishwasher is full, visit your local thrift store to stock up on a few extras (or consider a smaller dishwasher unit).
Using your dishwasher and laundry appliances less frequently not only saves energy, time and money but also saves precious fresh water resources.
What can I do if my dishes don’t come clean when I don’t rinse them?
Most newer model dishwashers will clean dishes that have sat for one day. If yours isn’t cleaning them, you can wipe them with a damp cloth or scrub brush before you load them, or rinse them quickly using cold water.
What if I don’t have enough clothes for a full load?
If you must wash clothes with a less than full load, adjust the water level setting accordingly.
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Hot water can account for as much as 25% of a household’s total energy costs. In many cases, showers can be the largest single contributor to overall hot water use in a home, accounting for 15% of total household energy use. There are a wide variety of low-flow showerheads available, including hand-held and designer models.
Replacing a conventional showerhead with a low-flow model is as inexpensive as $15 and is usually a quick and simple job. The payback for installing low-flow showerheads is almost immediate, depending on the frequency of showers.
A family of three may take almost 1,000 showers per year. If you replace your standard showerhead with a low-flow model, you could save 26,600 litres of hot water and between $80 and $100 annually on your energy costs (depending on whether you use natural gas or electricity to heat your water).
New low-flow showerheads reduce water use without sacrificing the quality of the shower. Many low-flow models feature multiple flow settings.
Low-flow showerheads can save you half the water of a standard shower, and they save energy as well. If 10,000 B.C. households switched to low-flow showerheads, the annual energy savings could power 300 Canadian homes for a year.
Remember to also take shorter showers to further reduce your water and energy use.
How does a low-flow showerhead work?
Most low flow showerheads aerate the water and increase its velocity by restricting the flow and forcing the water through very small apertures. This creates a very fine but “wet” feeling spray pattern.
While a conventional showerhead uses 18 to 27 litres or more per minute, the low-flow type uses approximately 9 to 11 litres per minute, with some models using even less.
Are there different types of low-flow showerheads?
There are two basic types of low-flow showerheads: aerating and non-aerating.
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The ENERGY STAR® symbol is a consumer icon in the Canadian marketplace. It instantly identifies products that have qualified as high efficiency.
The ENERGY STAR Initiative is a voluntary partnership between the Government of Canada and industry to make high efficiency products readily available and visible to Canadians.
NRCan formally enrolls manufacturers, retailers and other organizations as Participants in the ENERGY STAR Initiative. Participants help promote ENERGY STAR and ensure ENERGY STAR qualified products are prominent and readily available in the marketplace and to Canadian consumers.
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) administers and monitors use of the ENERGY STAR name and symbol in Canada under an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Canada became an international partner in the program in 2001.
NRCan works closely with the EPA to develop ENERGY STAR technical specifications for products. It also develops Canadian specifications for certain ENERGY STAR qualified products.
ENERGY STAR is one of three tools that consumers, governments and businesses use to advance energy efficiency in Canada.