Reducing energy consumption, and in turn utility bills, is one of the most popular reasons homeowners choose to go green. In the bathroom, that means reducing water usage and increasing energy efficiency across the board. Here’s Johnston’s list of things you can do to ensure maximum efficiency, and in turn, lower the operating costs of your bathroom.
• Install low flow faucets and shower-heads. They can reduce water usage at these fixtures by up to 60%.
• Install low flush, high efficiency toilets. Older toilets use between 3.5 and 7 gallons per flush. New models do the job just as well with 1.6 gallons of water or less.
• Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. Homes lit with incandescent bulbs can attribute up to 25% of their electric bills
to home lighting. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use 75% less energy, and last 10 times as long.
• Install low-e, multiple paned windows, with vinyl or wood frames. Installing energy efficient windows throughout your home can reduce total energy costs by 30 to 50 percent, and they provide valuable natural light, ventilation, and passive solar heat.
• Install a skylight or solar tube(s) to increase natural lighting.
• Install radiant heating. It’s more efficient, and healthier, than forced air.
• Insulate plumbing, and remove it from outside walls. It reduces heat loss as water travels from your hot water heater to the faucet, and saves on water heating costs.
• Install an “On-demand” hot water circulation pump. These pumps send hot water to your faucet in seconds, and reducing the demands placed on your hot water heater.
• Consider replacing your old hot water heater with a newer, more efficient model. High-efficiency fossil fuel water heaters, tankless water heaters, and heat pump water heaters, are all sound energy savings solutions. Or upgrade your present heater with an insulation jacket, heat traps, and a water heater timer.
• Insulate as much as possible. If you’re gutting your bathroom anyway, the more insulation you install in the walls, the better. Be sure to seal up other sources of air leaks as well, such as the small, hidden gaps where plumbing enters your bathroom.