The bathroom is easily the most popular room in a house, despite being the smallest. Surprisingly it is also the room in which a lot of energy and money is wasted. Make this a thing of the past and with our help you can transform not only your energy bills but also your contribution to the environment. As we all know, less energy used means a better carbon footprint. We’ve compiled a list of tips that are practical, easy to implement and won’t cost you anything. So read on to find out more and make 2015 your year for not only saving money, but reducing your carbon footprint!
5 Ways to Improve Your Bathroom's Energy Efficiency:
Reduce Your Water Consumption
More than likely, the biggest change to your energy use can be bought about by rethinking your water strategy. To put it into perspective, 23% of the average home heating bill is attributed to heating water; therefore by applying smart small changes, there is a lot to achieve. The obvious solution here is to simply use less water, but what does this mean in practical terms?
- Introduce the practice of showering rather than taking a bath. According to the Energy Saving Trust, if everybody in a family of four switched one bath per week for a five minute shower they’d save up to £18 a year on their household gas bill – and another £21 on their water meter.
- Even having a shower can be made more efficient. There are now a variety of water efficient shower heads on the market, not great if you have an electric shower, but if you don’t, what these shower heads do is control the water flow without having a noticeable impact on water pressure.
- Install a dual flush device to your toilet which could save as much as 50% on the amount of water used during flush. Alternatively adding a hippo or save-a-flush tool into your cistern can save between 1-3 litres of water per flush. Definitely worth pursuing!
- Checking your taps for leakages may seem like common sense but it is overlooked. Either tighten taps that are effected or consider purchase a new one.
Switch It Off
As with other rooms in the house, make sure to switch lights off when leaving. Encourage other household members to do the same – maybe a friendly reminder on the door? Remember to unplug devices when not in, this will help prevent the so called ‘vampire drain’ of energy. Try to use bathroom gadgets that can be operated from the mains as this uses electricity more efficiently than battery powered devices, however if you do have battery powered items, do not leave them plugged in and we recommend letting them go empty every so often before you charge them up.
Heat Your Water Correctly
It is easy to take the hot water that flows freely from our taps for granted. How that water is heated also has a bearing on your home’s energy consumption. To ensure that no energy is lost through the heating process, take these basic precautions:
- Install your hot water system near the hot taps used most often.
- Try to protect the hot water system from the weather if possible.
- Install a heat trap near the outlet of the hot water system and insulate at least the first two metres of pipe leading away from the system.
Heating and Ventilating Your Bathroom
Although this article is about saving energy, it is also good practice to heat the bathroom well on a regular basis. Adequately heating the room will deter any mould or mildew from developing. Extractor fans are great in bathrooms for working to remove moisture from the air, thereby helping to prevent build up of mould, but they are also great for heat recovery. Some extractor fans can be adapted to use the warmth from the air they extract to heat up cold air coming into the room, making it less important to have your bathroom radiator on as often. Check windows too for any damage that may be causing air leaks. Leaks can be fixed by caulking, sealing and weather stripping all cracks and seams, giving you back up to 10% of your annual energy costs.
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.
Bathrooms should be intensively ventilated periodically. When ventilating make sure to open all windows and doors in the room and turn the heating down; in winter each session should be at least ¾ minutes long. This is far more efficient than leaving a window half open all day.
Energy Efficient Lighting
As well as switching the lights off, you can increase energy efficiency in the bathroom by investing in LED or Compact Fluorescent bathroom lighting. Although they cost a little bit more than more common lighting options, they yield better results. Once you’ve had them installed by an electrician (might seem inconvenient but trust us on this) you will find that your lights last longer and don’t cost as much to operate. In addition to this, fancy new lighting will more than likely give your bathroom a new lease of life. Energy saving lights don’t have to be ugly, there are some really great ones out there, and you can certainly find something to fit your bathroom really well!
Hopefully our energy saving tips have inspired you to take control and change it up in your house. Once you feel you have gone as far as you can with our recommendations, there are other ideas you can look into to help you achieve the best out of your home’s energy consumption, including reducing the capacity of your bath to a smaller model, reinvesting any money saved into a fund to replace old windows with double or triple glazed panes or look into options to change your old boiler to a combi version which produces hot water on demand.