How to Maximize Energy Efficiency in the Bathroom: Green Bathroom Tips
We can all do our part to maximize energy efficiency in our homes and businesses. It’s a win-win situation for your wallet and the world. In addition to other energy hogs in your home, such as kitchens, laundry rooms, and HVAC systems, the bathroom uses a surprising amount of water and energy.
Water use and energy use are intrinsically linked. It takes energy to treat, pump, and heat the water that flows through your home and business. By saving water, you aren’t just conserving water, but energy as well. Water-saving techniques also help the environment by preventing air pollution and diverting less water from our rivers, estuaries, and bays.
As our population increases, so does demand. Luckily, there are many ways to use water more efficiently without sacrificing comfort or effectiveness.
These green tips are for the modern, busy homeowner. Some suggestions are one-time things, while others require ongoing effort. Start maximizing energy efficiency in the bathroom today!
Maximize Energy Efficiency in the Bathroom
If you have an older toilet, you are probably using 3.5 gallons or more per flush. Fortunately, modern toilets and retrofits enable you to save up to 18,000 gallons of water every single year.
Ask your local plumber about your green toilet options.
Fix the Leaks
The average home has at least one plumbing leak in the home, whether it be from toilets, sinks, or other areas in you plumbing. This could mean thousands or tens of thousands of wasted water every year.
A quick way to test if you have a toilet leak is by placing a few drops of food dye into the tank (remove the tank lid) and observing if any of the color makes it into the toilet bowl.
If you want to tell if you have any leaks in your plumbing system at all, find your water meter. It should have a "low flow indicator" (a.k.a. the leak indicator) which tells you if there are any low flow leaks in the home.
If the leak indicator is not moving, that doesn't necessarily mean you don't have a leak. Write down the odometer reading and then check back in about 30 minutes to see if there is any difference in the numbers (don't use any water during this time).
Click here for more information on detecting plumbing leaks at home.
While fixing leaks may be as simple as replacing the flapper in your toilet or the washer in your faucet. If you can't fix the problem yourself, call a plumber right away. You'll quickly make the money back from your water bill savings.
Take Short, Cold Showers
This may sound crazy, but cold "Navy" showers have many health and environmental benefits. Your hot water is heated with gas or electricity. The less hot water you consume, the more energy you save.
While you may enjoy your long, hot showers, they could be doing more harm than good. A short cold shower will wake up your skin cells and give you that extra boost of energy you need in the morning.
You may also want to think about the fact that showers consume about 1/5 of your home's total water usage. Even if you don't take the cold shower route, consider turning off the water while you are lathering up. This will also save you on soap and cleaning products.
Low-Flow Faucets and Aerators
Speak with your plumber about installing water-saving devices in the bathroom, especially if you don't have a faucet aerator. Aerators and low-flow regulators can help cut your bathroom usage by up to 50%. Click here to learn how to clean or replace your faucet aerators.
Switch to Earth-Friendly Brands
This green tip applies to everything in your home, not just the laundry room. There are many websites that tell you which are the most green, environmental cleaners.
Don't Treat Toilet Like Trash Can
Keep a trashcan in the bathroom so you don't ever throw anything in the toilet. This includes diapers, feminine hygiene products, floss, hair, drugs, and wet wipes. Yes, wet wipes! Click here for a full list of common items that you should not flush down the toilet.
The only things that should be flushed down the toilet are toilet paper and human waste.
Despite what you may think, it's NOT a good idea to flush wet wipes. In fact, there are several ongoing lawsuits to change the packaging on these products. Some still say that they are flushable. These so-called "flushable" wet wipes have been causing huge problems at sewage plants around the globe. Since they don't break apart like toilet paper, they can combine with fats, oils, and grease to create what are known as a "fatberg." These fatbergs are costing cities, such as London and New York hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix. Just don't do it!
Click here for more information on fatbergs and sewer/septic maintenance.
To avoid toilet clogs, only use the amount of toilet paper that you need. Let the toilet paper absorb the water before flushing it down.
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