What are tap aerators?
Aerators are designed to reduce the flow of water on your water taps in the kitchen and bathroom, reducing your overall water usage. The savings will be bigger if you are on metered water, however even if not, the aerators will mean that you use less hot water – so you will save on both water bills and your heating bills (normally gas from central heating).
Saving water is ethical because it’s good for the environment. More and more fresh water is being used in homes, businesses and production processes, which means there is less of this valuable commodity. Sewage treatments are expensive because they are very energy intensive, which means if we could do something to save water upfront it would lower the CO2 emissions as well. Water can be saved throughout the home or work by changing habits and installing water saving devices such as tap aerators.
How do tap aerators work?
Taps can flow at 18 litres of water per minute and costs approximately £0.03 for every minute the taps are running. Hot water is even more expensive as you use energy to heat it. the biggest savings are realised on bathroom sink and kitchen taps, as here water tends to be turned on and off frequently and throughout the day.
The tap aerators sit at the bottom of the tap reducing the flow of water that comes out by mixing water with air while maintaining the existing pressure that you are normally used to. The aerators basically act like a sieve, separating a single flow of water into smaller streams and also reduce the space in which the water has to flow into.
A tap aerator can reduce the flow of water by up to 10 litres per minute, so this will obviously help you use a lot less water.
Some tap aerators on the market can reduce the flow to operate at 6 litres per minute, therefore further reducing your consumption.
How do I install a tap aerator?
Tap aerators are easy to install. If your existing tap has an aerator you will need to unscrew it and replace it with the new more efficient water saving one. Turn the existing tap aerator anti-clockwise until you unscrew it from the tap. If the existing aerator doesn’t move when you try and move it you may need adjustable pliers to remove it. Then you simply screw in the new aerator (turning it clockwise) until the fitting is secure.
Male vs. female aerator fittings
The type of aerator replacement you buy will depend on the existing tap fitting. A male fitting has the thread on the outside, whereas the female fitting has the thread on the inside. Please check which fitting you have before going out to purchase a replacement.