Energy saving series – Bathroom edition
Written by Caitlin Ritchie
Last updated January 22, 2021
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The bathroom may not be the most glamorous room in your home, but you could be flushing away a lot of energy – and money – while you’re in there. Your monthly electricity bills are directly related to how much energy you consume. The lower your energy consumption levels, the lower your utility bill will be each month.
The fastest way to save money on electricity is by lowering the amount of electricity you use. So, how can you save energy in your bathroom? SaveOnEnergy compiled five easy tips to help.
A huge chunk of your electricity bills come from heating water – it accounts for about 18 percent of the average electric bill, in fact. According to Energy.gov, most households spend between $400-600 on their water heaters each year.
One of the fastest ways to ensure your water heater isn’t going to cost you each month is to use less hot water. You can do this by either cutting down on the amount of water you use entirely or by lowering your water heater’s temperature.
Another option is to invest in an energy-efficient water heater model. Different types of heaters include storage, tankless, heat pump, and even solar models. Each of these models has their own pros and cons, but some can help you lower those monthly bills quicker than others.
Looking to reduce how much water you use as a way to save energy? Take a look at your bathroom shower head. Showers account for approximately 17 percent of the water you use in your home. The average family consumes up to 40 gallons of water per day showering!
Choose a showerhead that doesn’t need to use as much water. Standard showerheads use about 2.5 gallons of water each minute. However, showerheads with the WaterSense label are required to limit their usage to no more than 2.0 gallons per minute.
A WaterSense showerhead in your bathroom could save your household up to 2,700 gallons of water every year. And according to the EPA, this simple switch could also save more than 330-kilowatt hours of energy annually – enough to power your home for 11 days. Moreover, you’ll keep an extra $45 in your account.
Toilets, like showerheads, are a major water-consumer in your bathroom. Your home’s toilets make up about 30 percent of the water you use each month. How is this possible? Many older and inefficient toilets use up to six gallons of water for each flush.
To be honest, if your toilet requires that much water to flush, it’s probably time for an upgrade. WaterSense labeled toilets can reduce the amount of water you use by up to 60 percent. What’s more, these low-flow, energy-efficient toilets can help you save big time. The EPA estimates WaterSense toilets could save more than $140 annually in water costs, and up to $2,900 over the course of the toilet’s lifetime!
The exhaust fan in your bathroom is important because it will cut down on the humidity after a shower. However, you shouldn’t leave it on all day. If you run the fan longer than 20 minutes after a shower, you’re really just wasting energy.
If you’re looking to optimize the exhaust fan in your bathroom, Energy Star models can help you cut down on the electricity you use. According to Energy Star, these energy-efficient models are more efficient and less noisy. They also tend to have a longer lifespan than older, less efficient models.
Interested in other ways to save energy in your home? See our previous installments in the SaveOnEnergy series:
Caitlin Cosper is a writer within the energy and power industry. Born in Georgia, she attended the University of Georgia before earning her master’s in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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