There are so many ways to save energy that implementing everything at once is overwhelming. After all, change does take time.
Since it’s easier to make adjustments one at a time, we’re continuing our series that explores how to save energy room by room, which will help drive down your electric bill. We have already offered no-cost ways to save electricity in the kitchen, as well as low-cost ways to save in the living room. Today, we focus on how to save energy in your bathroom.
Saving Energy With Maintenance
- Change your showerhead. Heating water uses energy and costs money. To increase savings, use a low-flow 2.5 gallon-per-minute showerhead. This could save up to $145 per year on electricity. Taking shorter showers will also help save energy.
- Fix those drips. Leaky faucets in the sink and shower not only waste water, but they also can waste energy. Hot water drips can cost you money over time, upwards of $40 a year.
- Improve your windows. Even those small bathroom windows need attention. If they are single pane, consider replacing them with more energy efficient windows. You can reduce air leaks by caulking, sealing and weather-stripping all seams and cracks opening to the outside air. Proper sealing and insulation can save as much as 10% on annual energy costs.
- Take a second look at your water heater. Fuel type, size and energy efficiency are all factors that you should look at when selecting a water heater. Choose a water heating system that will efficiently provide enough hot water by determining the right size and fuel source for your home. Consider a drain water heat recovery system that captures and uses the energy of drained warm or hot water. These systems have a payback range of 2.5 years to 7 years, depending on how often they are used.
Saving Energy With Lights and Electrical Equipment
- Invest in energy efficient lighting. Bathroom lights are one of the most used light sources in the home. You can save up to 75 percent by switching to LED or compact fluorescent bulbs. Consider buying Energy Star qualified bulbs. They use 10-50 percent less energy than standard bulbs.
- Turn those lights off. When you leave the room, make sure to flip the switch.
- Don’t forget the fan. Use ventilation fans to help prevent mold, but don’t leave them on longer than needed. After 15 minutes go back to the bathroom and turn everything off.
- Unplug. Remember to unplug hair dryers, electric toothbrush chargers and other bathroom gadgets when you are finished using them. This helps prevent vampire power drain. Do not, however, use power strips in the bathroom. This is a safety hazard. Take the time to unplug everything separately.
Other Ways To Save Energy
- Clean your AC vents. Air conditioning and heating vents can be overlooked in the bathroom. Remember to get the dust and grime out regularly. This will help with air flow and save energy.
- Consider your shower time. During the summer, try and plan hot showers and baths during cool times of the day. This will reduce the amount of heat you put into your home and prevent your AC from working too hard.