How to Create an Energy Efficient Bathroom
An energy efficient bathroom is better for the environment and your bank account. When you use less energy, your bills decrease, and you have to replace your fixtures less frequently.
It’s not as hard as it sounds to have an energy efficient bathroom, and with most of these changes, you won’t even notice a difference in your normal routines.
What is an Energy Efficient Bathroom?
You might not think of your bathroom as a large source of energy usage, but chances are it’s one of the top energy users in the house.
Every family member uses the bathroom, and many sources of energy are running, including water and electricity.
An energy efficient bathroom uses less energy without forcing you to sacrifice too much. When you install the right fixtures, you’ll automatically use less energy. But, of course, it helps if you practice energy-saving habits too.
Fixtures to Add to Create an Energy Efficient Bathroom
If you’re remodeling your bathroom, consider adding energy efficient fixtures. This automatically reduces the amount of energy your bathroom uses.
Here are a few areas to consider:
Toilets use 27% of household water, and installing energy-efficient toilets can reduce that number greatly. High-efficiency toilets use more water velocity than water volume. In other words, they use less water to remove the waste. Modern high-efficiency toilets use around 5.7 gallons per flush less water than standard toilets.
When you install energy-efficient toilets, you can reduce your household’s water usage by 20% – 60%, saving 13,000+ gallons of water per year.
Energy Efficient Windows
If your bathroom has a window, consider installing an energy efficient window. If you have inefficient windows, they likely don’t seal out air, making it harder to keep the room warm or cold.
When you can’t get comfortable in the bathroom, you’re likely to use more heating or air, increasing your utility bills and decreasing your home’s efficiency.
ENERGY STAR windows insulate your windows, so the air doesn’t come in or go out. This way, you don’t bring in hot air during the summer or lose warm air inside in the winter. The bathroom will be more comfortable, and you’ll likely use less heating and air.
Make sure it’s a window you can easily crack, so you can open it slightly after using it to reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth.
The average family uses 40 gallons of water daily, and a standard shower head uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Energy-efficient showers use 2 gallons of water per minute or less. You can tell when showers are energy efficient because they’ll have a WaterSense label affixed to them.
Approved energy-efficient showerheads are more water efficient, but don’t sacrifice the quality of your shower. You’ll still get the same feeling of a standard shower head without wasting water.
Install an Aerated Tap Faucet
An aerated tap faucet helps slow the flow of water out of the faucet without losing effectiveness. The good news is an aerator is a DIY project that takes only seconds but saves money and water usage.
An aerator is a screen on the faucet that reduces water usage, helps maintain water pressure, and shapes the water stream. It also prevents water from splashing, causing waste, while ensuring you get the water needed for the intended use.
Install Energy-Efficient Lighting
Lighting is a necessity in your bathroom, but that doesn’t mean it has to use a lot of energy. This is especially important if you have many lights in your bathroom. Switching to energy efficient light bulbs can save energy usage but give even more light, so it’s a win-win.
DIY Tips to Make your Bathroom More Energy Efficient
Installing energy-efficient fixtures in your bathroom is the key to saving money and the environment, but there are also things you can do every day to decrease your energy usage.
Take Shorter Showers
Start by taking shorter showers. If you don’t know how long your showers last, time it. Then, set a goal to try to cut the time in half. Even if you have an energy efficient shower head that uses two gallons of water per minute, cutting a shower down by 10 minutes reduces water usage by 20 gallons a day, or 140 gallons a week!
If you can’t tell how long you’ve been in the shower, set a timer and listen to it. Then, end your shower and save yourself some money when it goes off.
Don’t Leave Appliances Plugged In
Chances are your bathroom has all types of appliances. Even when they aren’t in use, the fact that they are plugged in uses energy. So only plug your appliances in when you need them, and unplug them when you’re done. If you have appliances that need to be charged, charge them at night when energy prices are the lowest, but be sure to unplug them as soon as they are fully charged.
Turn your Water Heater Temperature Down
Check your water heater. Chances are it’s set at 140 degrees, as that’s the manufacturer’s normal temperature. However, the necessary temperature is only 120 degrees. That 20-degree difference can significantly affect your energy bills, but you won’t feel it when you’re showering, especially if you shorten your showers.
If you have a leaky faucet or pipe, fix it immediately. The same is true of a toilet that constantly runs. You waste water, energy, and money when you leave a leak unfixed.
If you aren’t sure you have leaks, make it a habit once a month to walk through and check all the plumbing in your bathrooms. You might find the tiniest leak that, if left unfixed, could turn into something more serious and costly.
Clean your Ventilation Fan
Ventilation fans are meant to help reduce moisture in the bathroom, but they collect a lot of dust and grime. If you don’t clean them, they can’t work effectively, drawing more power to run.
Instead, make it a part of your weekly cleaning habits to clean the fan. Remove the dirt and grime, and it will work much more effectively.
Also, consider only running the fan for 10 – 15 minutes after you shower. It’s not necessary after that time period and only causes excessive energy usage.
Consider Cold Showers
No one likes a cold shower, but they are healthier for you than hot showers. Cold showers can improve immunity, reduce inflammation, and improve circulation and metabolism. So even if you cut your hot shower usage down by a minute or two, replacing it with a cold shower, you’ll save energy, and you may feel better.
Why should I make my bathroom more energy efficient?
Making your bathroom more energy efficient can save you money on utility bills and reduce your carbon footprint. By making a few simple changes such as replacing old lighting fixtures with LED bulbs, investing in low-flow faucet aerators and showerheads, installing motion sensors for lights and fans, adding insulation to your walls and floors, sealing air leaks around windows or doors – these small improvements will not only reduce energy consumption but can also lead to lower utility bills over time.
How do I know if my bathroom is properly insulated?
To determine if your bathroom is properly insulated, look for obvious signs of inadequate insulation such as drafty windows or cold floors.
If you don’t observe any visible signs, there are still practical steps you can take to evaluate the insulation in your bathroom. Check for gaps and cracks around doors and windows where air may be leaking through, inspect the bathroom walls and ceilings for proper installation of insulation materials, or schedule an assessment with a certified energy auditor who can provide an official report on the condition of your home’s insulation.
How can I improve the ventilation in my bathroom without wasting energy?
Installing an energy-efficient bathroom fan or choosing a fan with a timer or humidity sensor can help you improve ventilation while using less energy.
Creating an energy efficient bathroom is the best way to save money and protect the environment. Most bathroom fixtures sold today are much more energy efficient than previous versions. If you have an older house or a bathroom with old fixtures, consider replacing them to do your part and lower your monthly bills.