Eco-enhancing the luxury spa
Turning a bathroom into a luxurious spa—one of today’s hottest design trends—can be attainable for the eco-conscious. Better yet, being eco-conscious when remodeling can also be good for your budget. By making just a few adjustments, homeowners could save hundreds of dollars a year in water and energy costs.
Here are some easy ways to give the bathroom an eco-conscious makeover and save money at the same time:
1. Install low-flow showerheads. Prior to 1992, it was common for showerheads often to use 5.5 gallons per minute (gpm). For maximum water efficiency, select a showerhead with a flow rate of less than 2.5 gpm. There’s no need to worry about pressure—today’s low-flow heads provide pressure comparable to higher-flow varieties.
2. Install water-conserving, high-efficiency toilets. According to WaterSense®, replacing older, existing toilets with WaterSense labeled models can save 4,000 gallons of water a year.
3. Replace the current water heater with an energy-efficient tankless model.Tankless water heaters use up to 40 percent less energy than traditional tank-style units. Tankless units can also last up to twice as long as tank water heaters and deliver an endless supply of hot water and comfort.
4. Paint with low-VOC or zero-VOC paint. This simple step helps to ensure that the air is free of potentially harmful chemicals.
5. Install energy-saving light bulbs. A single 18 watt CFL used in place of a 75-watt incandescent bulb will save about 570 kWh over its lifetime. At eight cents per kWh, that equates to a $45 savings.
6. Choose recycled or recyclable options when possible. Virtually all bathroom materials are available in an eco-friendly version, so keep this in mind when selecting materials for the remodel. It’s easy to opt for recyclable items such as tile floors and walls, or consider getting a bath rug that contains recycled content.
Have additional questions or eco-enhancing bathroom remodeling ideas? Leave a comment in the box below.