The bathroom occupies just a fraction of the total square footage of your home, but when it comes to energy use; it can be one of the biggest guzzlers in your house. Water bills can also be extremely high if things are not tightened up in the bathroom and this can send your hard-earned cash down the drain.
The Environmental Protection Agency through a study found that Americans use an average of 100 gallons of water daily most of which is used in the bathroom and 27% of it is used in flushing the toilet. This is not just the water, but also the energy used to heat this water for showers and baths.
When you incorporate aspects such as insulation, ventilation, lighting, and building materials, it may not come as a surprise that your carbon footprint exceeds your bathroom square footage. There are a number of things you can do to reduce both the water usage and the energy thus making your bathroom green.
Installing New Shower Heads
Research indicates that showering takes 17% of your overall water use. On average, the standard shower head uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute together with the energy needed to heat the water. When you switch to low-flow shower heads which on average use 1.5 to 2 gallons per minute, you can save about 2,900 gallons a year. The energy to heat this water can be used to power your house for over 13 days.
Add Aerators to Your Faucets
Addition of aerators is one of the cost effective yet easiest methods of conserving water. Aerators which retail for less than $5 add air to the faucets which in turn lowers the flow of water from a range of 2 to 4 gallons per minute to about 1 gallon per minute. The pressure remains the same and you may not even notice the difference.
When you have a leaky faucet that drips at a rate of about 1 drip every second, you can waste over 3,000 gallons of water a year. Among the common leakages in the bathroom are dripping faucets and worn out toilet flappers. Fixing the leakages can save you about 10% on your water bill.
Change Your Lighting to LEDs
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) can save homeowners hundreds of dollars on their electricity bills. Switching your bathroom lighting to LEDs alone can save you 20% of the usual energy expenditure and the lifespan of this lighting is 25 times longer. This will certainly knock off hundreds of dollars from your monthly energy bills.
You may also want to consider recycling, reusing, and refurbishing the bathroom by painting the cabinets and walls with low VOC paints. This will go a long way into reducing your carbon footprint.