With bathroom design, many of us tend to focus on the function first, and perhaps relaxation and luxury second. It makes good sense to pay attention to the energy your bathroom uses on a daily, weekly and yearly basis. The bathroom may be one of the smaller rooms in your dwelling, but it packs a powerful punch when it comes to the amount of energy that your household consumes. A lot of your hard earned money can literally go down the drain, unless you consider making bathroom energy savings.
Interested in saving money and doing your part to help the environment at the same time? Focus on saving energy in the bathroom and as a result you will do just that. Here are our top tips for using less energy in your bathroom:
Top Tips Bathroom Energy Savings:
Tip 1 – Check your Extractor Fans
When it comes to wear and tear in your bathroom, one of the major culprits is condensation. The moisture in the air, lingering from the bath, taps and shower, can cling to the walls. Over time, this moisture will begin to eat away at the walls and fixtures resulting in problems with mould and damp. Eventually, condensation will require you to replace or remodel your bathroom, costing you money and impacting on the environment.
Extractor fans work by removing some of the moisture in the air, and this reduces the problems listed above. To add extra bathroom energy savings, purchase an extractor fan with heat recovery capabilities. These extractors pull some of the warmth out of the air, heating up the cold air in the room therefore making it much warmer. This means you then don't need to turn on the radiator in your bathroom as often therefore saving you money.
Tip 2: Use Less Water
Believe it or not, the Energy Trust has found that 23% of the average heating bill cost comes from heating water! Using less water in general will help you to reduce the cost of your electricity and gas bills. Ultimately it’s a win win situation!
You don’t have to make major home improvements or remodel your bathroom to reap these benefits. Installing energy saving appliances and fixtures can actually be a big step towards a lower energy bill. There are many small changes that you can make around the house that are very effective in reducing costs.
Here are some simple and effective ways to use less water around the home that will produce bathroom energy savings. Following just a few of these tips can help you to really change how you use energy in your entire home.
Water Saving Tips:
- Take a shower rather than a bath – While a long soak in the bath can be a great stress relief, baths use much more water than bathroom showers. A five minute shower will use less than half the water that it would take to fill the bath! Switching even one bath a week for a short shower will save upwards of £50 per year on the gas bill and water meter for a family of four.
- Look out for dripping taps – Do you have any dripping taps in the bathroom? If so, it is time to get them fixed as soon as possible. A dripping hot water tap can waste more than five thousand litres of water per year. Think of all the money you’re spending on gas and a water meter! By simply tightening a tap you could be saving heaps of money and bathroom energy usage.
How to Save Energy at Home:
- Turn off the tap whenever possible – When washing dishes, brushing your teeth or washing your face, turn off the taps when they are not needed. Consider fitting your bathroom with low flow taps. Another option is to add inexpensive flow regulators to the taps in your home. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save this way!
- Think about how often your flush the loo – Flushing the toilet uses around 30% of all of the water in the average household! Reducing the number of flushes will substantially lower the amount of water that you use in your home. If you want to make a real difference, you could consider installing a dual flush insert device. This device will reduce the amount of water in each flush by 50%. Moreover many water companies will even give these devices away – check with your local provider.
- Install a water efficient shower head – The latest models of water efficient shower heads use less water without decreasing your water pressure. These work really well on power and mixer showers (that have a high flow), but they cannot be used on electric showers without damage.
Tip 3: Insulation is a Smart Energy Saver
The next time that you are fitting new bathroom tiles or fixtures consider insulating the walls in your bathroom. If you are currently living in a home without cavity wall insulation, you probably find that your bathroom is colder than the rest of the house. Adding this insulation will make the bathroom, and the entire house, warmer. This will reduce the amount of money you need to spend on heat in the winter.
Insulation is not only for the walls. By insulating your hot water pipes you can save money (upwards of £15 per year). Do you want to save even more money and energy? Then choose to insulate your hot water tank with a jacket at least 75 mm thick. This will cut your heat loss by 75% consequently saving you upwards of £40 per year. The jacket keeps your water hotter for longer, therefore meaning that you use less energy and spend less money.
Tip 4: Go for Energy Efficient Lighting
Another great way to make bathroom energy savings is to replace your existing lighting with more energy efficient options. Choosing LED or Compact Fluorescent Lighting might cost a little bit more than other lights (and you might need an electrician to fit them in), but they last way longer and cost far less to use.
Energy efficient CFLs are available in stores for around £2, but they last 8,000 hours on average! This means that their lifetime savings can top £35.
Tip 5 – Making Bigger Changes for Bigger Bathroom Energy Savings
Finally if you are in the process of planning or remodeling your bathroom, it’s a great time to make some energy efficient changes at the same time.
- Install a low flush toilet
- Choose a reduced capacity bath
- Replace single glazed windows with double paned options
- Install low flow bathroom taps to both your basin and bath
- Choose a condensing combi-boiler to replace your old boiler, water tank and cylinder
From here on stop throwing money down the toilet – quite literally - and focus on your bathroom energy savings! By making some small changes to your bathroom, you can revitalise the space, save money and ultimately reduce your impact on the environment.