Five Percent: Conserve Energy

Climate Change Is Important: Energy Conservation is the First Step

January 6, 2008

Evolve Shower Head — Roadrunner Washes Green

Category: Companies,Green Reviews,Little Things,Save Water,Tips – Tom Harrison – 12:35 pm

My whole family is very impressed with the Evolve Roadrunner shower head. Evolve Roadrunner provides a very, very nice shower experience that is comparable to regular shower heads. To my surprise, I really like the “ShowerStart” feature.

And yes, the Roadrunner also uses a lot less water than typical shower heads, although you would never know it. We recommend the Roadrunner. If you’re worried about the price, don’t: the payback could be a lot faster than you think.

Greenwashing, or Washing Green?

A few weeks ago, I was bashing this company’s marketing message as “greenwashing” (marketing a product as “green” when it doesn’t do much or anything good). I reacted to some of their statements, and I am still not thrilled with them. My goal on this web site is to find simple changes people can make, and what could be simpler than replacing your shower head?

But I also hope that people will use the opportunity to think about other ways they could make changes to conserve; the makers of Evolve have a different view. But they have created a great product, and whatever your motivations are, you can make a significant energy reduction by switching to this showerhead.

Our Evolve Roadrunner Experience

We have tried the Roadrunner shower head, and it is a hit in our family. I have to say, even I am a convert because of the ShowerStart feature, which is excellent, even for people like me who only run the water just until it’s turning warm and get in. ShowerStart lets you turn on the shower to warm up the water, then shuts off when it is warm.

As a matter of fact, I did an experiment and found that I use a little less water in “getting to warm” using the Evolve than I did when I turned on the tub faucet with my hand underneath. This makes sense: the water comes out of the tub spout faster than out of the shower head; the Evole kind of “optimizes” this process.

If you are in the habit of leaving your shower running for longer than “just long enough” to get warm, this feature alone might save you a good deal of money. That is Evolve’s main marketing message, and they sell several other showerheads with this feature, but that don’t conserve water while they are running.

The shower head has a lever on the side (and a nice pull-cord attached) — when you get in the shower give it a pull and the shower starts. There’s no doubt that pulling the cord and getting water that’s the right temperature is a nice greeting.

Several other low-flow shower heads we have tried aerate the water, which can create a little “mist” around the edges, which cools off faster. Having a nice warm blast is great. The flow rate of the Roadrunner is excellent, and the shower is very comfortable.

And for those who care, it uses a little less than 1.6 gallons per minute, which is almost 40% less hot water per minute than the maximum flow rate of 2.5 GPM. We all pay to heat the water, and if you have city water, you pay for consumption, too. 40% less can add up.

Comparison to Oxygenics

When I polled my family, it was basically a tie with the Oxygenics model we tried.

Reasons we prefer the Oxygenics:

  • My wife likes the more forceful, aerated spray (very slight preference)
  • My son likes the wider spray pattern
  • I like the flow reducer valve, both for comfort and the 1Gpm flow rate

Reasons we prefer the Evolve Roadrunner

  • It has a slightly gentler, non-aerated spray (very slight preference)
  • ShowerStart is an unequivocally good thing
  • Water temperature may not need to be quite as hot as aerated versions

Bottom line, both are excellent choices, excellent products, and about the same price. There’s certainly no doubt that if you do currently have an “extended” warm up for your shower, the Evolve Roadrunner is the better choice.


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