Your bathroom is your sanctuary, your oasis. It’s the place where your day really gets started and the place where you wind down at day’s end. And during beautiful days, there’s no better feeling than opening the windows and simply relaxing in your pampered space.
Your bathroom is one of the most important rooms in your house, and it’s also one of the largest energy users. From water use to electrical output, usage happens here in great volume, and waste does as well. And it’s that combination that makes your bathroom the perfect place to target if you’re trying to improve your green lifestyle.
Follow these six tips to make one of the most important rooms in your home the most energy efficient as well.
1. Change your practices. This first one’s inexpensive because it relies solely on you changing your habits and giving up that comfortable bath for a quick shower. While soaking in the tub can be relaxing, showering reduces your water usage and allows you to better reduce your energy usage. You can also further reduce your water usage by installing a low-flow showerhead. In fact, this adjustment can reduce your water usage by one-half gallon per minute or more and save you as much as $145 per year.
2. Vent efficiently. It’s almost automatic: As you turn the shower on, you’re already reaching for the switch to start your bathroom fan. And because you already know showering is less wasteful than taking a bath, you plan to choose showers more often. So why not make your fan use energy efficient as well by replacing your existing fan with an ENERGY STAR-approved model? ENERGY STAR-approved ventilation fans use 70 percent less energy when compared to non-certified models, and they’re quieter as well. It’s a win-win.
3. Vanishing vanity expenses. You need the bright lights of your vanity to get ready in the morning, but you don’t need the energy expense associated with them. Replace the existing bulbs in your vanity with ENERGY STAR bulbs and you’ll reduce your energy bill by $70 each year.
4. Fix those plumbing problems. A leaky faucet is more than just annoying, it’s wasteful. In fact, a leak of one drip per second can waste 1,661 gallons of water per year, and you paid for all of it. So fix your drip as soon as possible. You’ll sleep better at night as well.
5. Think when you flush. If your home has an older toilet, you could be using as much as four gallons of water every single time you flush. Replace your old toilet with a newer, low-flow model to reduce your water usage to roughly 1.5 gallons per flush. And to cut your usage even more, invest in a dual flush toilet or install a flush converter, allowing your toilet to base its flushing cycle on what needs to be transported down the drain.
6. Back to the bars. Body washes and other liquid cleaning options are all the rage these days, but if you want to be environmentally friendly, it’s time to go back to the traditional bar of soap. Bar soaps are usually made from plant oils, while liquid soaps are petroleum based.
Your bathroom is your oasis, but there’s no reason it can’t be an environmentally friendly oasis. Apply these tips and you can enjoy not only the space but the energy you’ve saved, too.