There are many things you can do to save energy in your bathroom.
Replace your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or the bulbs in them with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR and save $70 each year in energy costs.
The bathroom vanity is one of the highest-use fixtures in the average home. ENERGY STAR Certified CFLs provide bright, warm light, use less energy, and generate less heat than standard lighting. Keep in mind that high humidity can shorten the life of CFLs. To avoid moisture problems, control humidity in your bathroom by running your ventilating fan during and 15 minutes after showers and baths. You can find ENERGY STAR Certified fixtures in hundreds of popular styles, including vanity lighting, at home improvement and hardware stores, lighting showrooms, and other retail stores including online outlets.
Remember to always turn off your lights when leaving a room.
Install a properly sized ENERGY STAR Certified ventilation fan to control moisture in the air while you shower or bathe, as well as control mold and mildew growth. Run your fan for 15 minutes after showering.
ENERGY STAR Certified ventilation fans 60% less energy on average than standard models, saving more than $60 in electricity over the life of the fan. They are quieter and use high-performance motors and improved blade design, providing better performance and longer product life. Certified models can be found at many home improvement stores or from you HVAC or electrical contractor. Also be sure the fan duct leads to the outdoors to prevent moisture problems.
Make sure that the connections at vents and registers are well-sealed where they meet the floors, walls, and ceiling. These are common locations to find leaks and disconnected ductwork. Also make sure that all vents are clear of any furniture or rugs to improve air flow and comfort. If your home has radiators, place heat-resistant reflectors between radiators and walls. In the winter, this will help heat the room instead of the wall.
During the winter months, replace your screens with storm windows to provide an extra barrier to the cold outside air. Caulk and weather-strip around windows and doors that leak air. If replacing windows, choose ENERGY STAR Certified models designed for your area, and save $150-500 per year in energy costs. With proper installation to ensure all gaps around them are sealed, ENERGY STAR Certified windows can help improve your comfort, cut drafts, and reduce fading of interior furnishings.
A 10-minute shower can use less water than a full bath.
With a new 2.5 gallon-per-minute (low-flow) shower head, a 10-minute shower will use about 25 gallons of water, saving you 5 gallons of water over a typical bath. A new showerhead also will save energy — up to $145 each year on electricity — beating out both the bath and an old-fashioned showerhead.
Repair any faucet leaks. A leaky faucet can waste gallons of water.
Hot water leaking at a rate of 1 drip per second can waste up to 1,661 gallons of water over the course of a year, and waste up to $35 in electricity or in natural gas. Fixing drips is a cost-effective and easy way to save energy.
To save energy and reduce drafts, use spray foam or caulk to seal holes around penetrations, such as pipes, wiring, vents or recessed lights, that go through the home to the outside, attic, crawlspace, or an unfinished basement.
The exterior of your home — the outer walls, ceiling, windows, and floor — is called the “envelope” or “shell.” Sealing and insulating — done by a knowledgeable homeowner or skilled contractor — can save more than $200 a year in heating and cooling costs (or up to 10% on total annual energy bills). It will also make your home more comfortable and help your heating and cooling system run more efficiently.