As summer has just drawn to a close, utility bills are set to significantly increase as cold weather will take hold over the next few months. Making your home more energy efficient can help to reduce the hefty prices that heat, light and water carry. The autumn and winter months can be particularly tight as Christmas looms, another large expense for many families so saving money on energy bills is particularly important.
Bathrooms are one of the most expensive rooms in the house to run in terms of day-to-day usage. They are responsible for large amounts of water, heat and often light as people wash, use the toilet and generally get ready to go out. Reducing the amount your bathroom is costing you can really help your pocket and the environment. Simple energy efficiency tips should help you see reductions in your energy bills – perfect for the colder months.
Toilets are the most used object in the bathroom and are necessary for good sanitation and hygiene within the home. However, they can also be a major money burner, particularly if they’re an old model. Toilets that are over ten years old won’t be energy efficient and could be wasting gallons of water. The average old toilet uses between 3.5 and 7 gallons of water per flush; whereas newer, energy efficient models use around 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Also, dual flush toilets have an option to flush liquid waste which saves even more water.
Water saving shower heads can be a great way to minimise the amount of water wasted when in the shower. Many people only actually use around half of the water that pours from the shower head, as many people leave the shower running whilst shampooing their hair or washing their body rather than repeatedly turning it on and off. This can waste an incredible amount of water and energy (it’s unlikely you’ll take a cold shower in the winter) which all costs you money to produce. Water saving shower heads control the spray pattern and can save up to half the amount of water of a power shower, whilst still producing the same feel.
Although showers generally consume less water than a bath it can sometimes be necessary to use the bath, particularly for bathing a child. In this case, avoid overfilling the bath with more water than necessary. Another common problem for many homeowners is that the hot water runs out and they begin to use the kettle to fill the bath. A vast amount of energy can be wasted during each repetition of boiling the kettle, making the bathing experience even more costly! If you have small children of a similar age it’s wise to bathe them together, using half the amount of water than if they were to wash separately.
Renewable energy resources can be a great way to significantly reduce energy bills and often have long term investment benefits. Solar PV are becoming increasingly popular as the feed-in tariff rates prove an excellent return on investment whilst free electricity is an attractive prospect as utility bills continually rise. Those who don’t have the money to invest can also get free solar panels installed by sacrificing their feed-in tariff and just reaping the benefits of free electricity.
There are many ways to reduce energy consumption in the bathroom and although applying all of them would return the best results, even a small increase in bathroom efficiency can reduce energy bills whilst helping the environment.
About the Author
Written by Stephanie Staszko on behalf of Solar Choice and Solvis, you can follow her on Twitter @StephStaz for more green posts.