With rising living costs, every household is looking for ways to save money.  Here are some tips on how to save energy in your bathroom.

 

Lighting

Use Energy Star rated LED lights in your entire house, especially in your bathroom.  Energy Star rated lights have gone through strict efficiency, quality, and lifetime criteria.  LED lighting reduces energy costs by at least 75% when compared to incandescent lighting.  It also lasts 35-50 times longer than incandescent lighting and about 2-5 times longer than fluorescent while producing less heat than both.

LED lights are free of toxic chemicals. Most conventional fluorescent lighting bulbs contain a multitude of materials like mercury that are dangerous for the environment.  LED lights contain no toxic materials, are 100% recyclable, and will help to reduce your carbon footprint by up to a third.

When deciding on the type of materials to install, know that using a single high-watt bulb to light up a room can be more efficient than using multiple low-watt bulbs.


Ventilation

When renovating your bathroom, be sure to maximize the amount of natural light by using Energy Star rated skylights and widows. 

Energy Star windows and skylights feature invisible glass coatings, vacuum-sealed spaces filled with inert gas between panes, improved framing materials, better weather stripping, and warm edge spacers.   Energy Star qualified windows help keep homes warmer in the winter by keeping radiant heat indoors.  They also reflect solar heat by 70% or more during the summer.  Advanced frames, glass coatings, spacers, and other technologies enable Energy Star qualified windows to keep the inner surface of the glass and frame warmer, reducing the potential for condensation and ensuring a clearer view on winter mornings.

If you’re unable to install a window in your bathroom, install a ventilation fan.  A properly installed ventilation fan in the bathroom wastes less heat than opening a bathroom window.  Fans provide an environmentally friendly way to reduce moisture and lessen the chance of health problems humidity buildup.   Humidity in the bathroom causes mold, mildew, and the deterioration of walls, doors, ceilings, fixtures, and cabinetry.  After showering, leave the fan running for an additional 10 to 15 minutes before shutting it off.  Or, you may turn off the fan once the moisture has cleared from the mirrors.


Insulation

Regardless of insulation type, a low-permeability vapor barrier should be installed on the inside surface of the framing around the bathroom. This helps prevent moisture from condensing in the wall where it rots wood framing and makes insulation less effective.  Insulation should also be placed in the shower walls, as well as under the tub and in the cavities surrounding it.

Insulating hot-water pipes is an easy and inexpensive way to reduce energy costs.  Closed-cell foam is the most commonly used insulation, but fiberglass is another option.  Instantaneous water heaters (tankless units) that heat only when the water is needed at the fixture may be appropriate for a bathroom that gets limited use, such as one in a single-occupant home or vacation cottage.

 

Other Tips

Install a waste-water recovery system which preheats the shower water with warm water going down the drain.  Hot water always loses energy as it passes through the drain.  Drain-water (or greywater) heat recovery systems will capture this energy to preheat the cold water entering the water heater or other fixtures such as the dishwasher, sink, or washing machine.

Install solar panels for heating and electricity. If you use a lot of electricity and have a really high electric bill, you are likely to save a lot with solar right away. People who have smaller electric bills might not see substantial savings until a few years out.  Solar electricity power plants and personal solar panels produce zero emissions and have no adverse effects on the environment.  The creation of solar power is unobtrusive and is generated from photovoltaic panels that sit on top of the roofs of buildings.

Remember to unplug any electronics that are not in use since many devices like cell phone chargers or TVs continue to draw power when turned off. 

Use nightlights with sensors in the bathroom where you need just enough lighting to see where you are going.  The sensor will shut the nightlight off when it’s bright enough to see normally.  The Blooming NB-R1063 has an LED nightlight which senses ambient lighting.  Once your bathroom lights are turned on, the NB-R1063’s LED nightlight turns off.