Green Bathroom Remodel Upgrades
Last Updated on Monday, 16 June 2014 01:56
Written by bkshowplace
Monday, 16 June 2014 01:55
Your old bathroom fixtures don’t just look unsightly, they are probably also wasting a lot of water or energy. With these simple green bathroom upgrades, you can make your bathroom look great while helping the planet too.
Old bathroom toilets use about 5 gallons per flush. Today’s toilets (called low-flush toilets) must meet new EPA regulations and use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush. There are also high-efficiency toilets which use as little as 1.2 gallons per flush, which means significant water savings over the year. You’ll also want to consider upgrading to a dual-flush toilet which has two options for how much water is released per flush.
According to the EPA, about 15% of water used in homes flows out through faucets. Even if you are diligent about turning off faucets while brushing your teeth, you still might want to upgrade to a low-flow faucet. These faucets flow at about 1.5 gallons per minute instead of the old standard of 2.2 gallons per minute. Even though less water is flowing, the new faucets still deliver the same pressure.
Just like your old bathroom faucet, old showerheads are generally very inefficient. Old showerheads generally use about 2.5 gallons per minute and add up to about 17% of home water use. Upgrade to an EPA-approved WaterSense showerhead and you will use no more than 2 gallons per minute. This can save a family of four about 2,900 gallons of water per year! Since you are using less water, you will also use less energy for producing hot water.
Standard water heaters use energy to heat water and store it in a tank. This means you are using energy to heat water even when you aren’t using it. Consider upgrading to a tankless water heater instead. They create hot water on demand which, according to the Department of Energy, can save you 30% on the cost of heating water!
In-Floor Radiant Heating
If you are doing a complete bathroom remodel, consider installing radiant floor heating (also called in-floor heating). These systems are much more efficient than standard HVAC heating systems. Even if you only install radiant floor heating in your bathroom (which you can easily do with an electric system), you will be able to save money and energy by creating “heat zones” in your home.