Kathy Kelley's Blog
Your bathroom can be a considerable source of energy use in your home. The Department of Energy states that water heating accounts for up to 18 percent of energy bills, which is the second largest expense in your home after heating and cooling. Showers and baths aren’t the only reasons for high energy use in bathrooms, though. Lighting and exhaust fans also add to this amount. The good news is that you can make your bathrooms more energy-efficient with the following tips.
Limit Hot Water Use
Since water heating uses up so much energy, finding ways to use less hot water can add up to significant energy savings. You can do this by taking showers instead of baths, which use up more hot water. Taking shorter showers, such as limiting them to about 10 minutes or less, also helps reduce the amount of hot water you’re using on a daily basis. Installing a low-flow shower head and using cooler rather than hotter water can help you save even more energy.
Use Your Exhaust Fans Efficiently
Bathrooms have exhaust fans to help reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth from moisture. While it’s important to run these when you shower or bathe, keep in mind that they use up energy while they’re on. You can lower this energy usage by only keeping exhaust fans on for about 15 minutes after getting out of the shower. Switching to a more energy-efficient exhaust fan can also help you use less energy while still keeping your bathroom safe from mold and mildew.
Consider Your Bathroom Lighting
The lights in your bathroom can use up more energy if you’re using incandescent bulbs, especially if you have several vanity lights around or over your sink and mirror. Switching to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) or LED bulbs cuts down on your energy usage when your bathroom lights are on. These bulbs also typically last longer than incandescent bulbs and produce less heat, making them safer and more cost-effective. Installing motion sensors for your bathroom lights can also save energy by ensuring that they’re not accidentally left on for long periods of time.
Unplug Curling Irons and Hair Dryers
Leaving curling irons and hair dryers plugged in when they’re not being used might not seem like a big source of energy use. However, these devices keep drawing small amounts of electricity the entire time they’re plugged in, even if they’re not turned on. You can save on your bathroom energy usage on a regular basis by getting into the habit of unplugging these devices when you’re not using them.
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