Deciding to remodel your bathroom provides you the chance to update an important, frequently used room in your home. Beyond improving your bathroom’s style and functionality, you’re now afforded the opportunity to enhance your home’s energy efficiency.
In general, 50%-75% of your home’s water usage occurs in the bathrooms, so a sure way to improve your bathroom’s energy efficiency is to reduce the volume of water your fixtures are using. Water-saving fixtures not only conserve water, but the energy used to pump that water into your home.
Standard showerheads have a 2.5 gallon-per-minute flow rate. New, high-efficiency models can reduce your water usage by up to 50%. But don’t worry, unlike the earlier models, most modern low-flow showerheads maintain good water pressure, and you likely won’t even be able to tell you’re using half the water you used to!
High-efficiency faucets aerate your water flow, reducing the amount of water used while maintaining strong, consistent water pressure.
High-efficiency toilets are designed to utilize high water velocity as opposed to high water volume. Alternatively, low-flow toilets offer two flush options; low and high water volume.
If you haven’t already, consider making the switch to LED light bulbs which are brighter and more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs. While the initial costs are a bit greater, they have a much longer lifespan and will certainly save you money long-term.
If you find that your bathroom lights are often left on after use, adding motion detector light switches might be something to think about. Motion lights will automatically turn off after a set amount of time, saving you money!
One of the most impactful energy-saving solutions comes in the form of insulation. For complete bathroom remodels where new drywall will be installed, consider replacing the wall insulation with higher R-value insulation. Otherwise, focus on insulating your pipes. It takes a lot of energy to heat your water, and that heat slowly escapes on it’s way from your water tank to your faucets.
Heating your water can account for up to 25% of your total energy usage. Most people have their tank set to maintain a temperature of 140 degrees. Lowering this even slightly can have a considerable impact on your energy consumption.
If it’s time for a new water heater, make the switch to a tankless water heater. These heat the water as it’s used as opposed to maintaining a high temperature for a whole water tank. These are reported to use 22% less energy than a conventional water heater.