One of the best ways to run an eco-friendly household is to go green during your bathroom remodel. As you plan for this project in your Atlanta home, consider the following tips that can help you save energy, conserve natural resources, and do your part in improving the earth.
The bathroom is the biggest water-waster in the house, with toilets responsible for 27% of total water consumption, and showers for at least 16%. Start your bathroom remodel by assessing your water fixtures. Ask your plumber or contractor: are my showerheads, faucets, and toilets efficient – or are they in fact letting resources go down the drain?
There are usually two ways to save water in the bathroom:
- Dual-flush it. Install a toilet that empties only half as much water when needed, and can save up to 17,000 gallons of water per year.
- Go low-flow. Low-flow faucets can reduce a sink’s water flow by 30%. A “low-flow” showerhead uses only 1.5 to 2 gallons of water per minute, compared to the typical model that uses 2.5.
Improve heat and light
Water isn’t the only resource you can conserve through a bathroom remodel. You might also be guzzling up savings and energy if your water heater, exhaust fan, and lighting are inefficient. Consider doing the following:
- Try tankless. A “tankless” water heater only heats water when you need it. With one, you neither waste energy for heating – nor the hot water you might not use.
- Upgrade ventilation. Inefficient exhaust fans push out heated air even as they remove mold-causing moisture.
- Light up with LED. Certified LED lighting uses 90% less energy and lasts 25 times longer compared to traditional bulbs.
You can also redesign your bathroom to let in more natural light. It’s a surefire way to bring in more warmth and illumination without wiring a single appliance.
Embrace eco-friendly design
Once you’ve ensured your fixtures are functional, you can focus on other elements of the bathroom – like walls, floors, cabinets, and countertops – that you can also design for eco-friendliness.
- Build with natural materials. The list of natural and organic materials for your bathroom is extensive: low-toxicity ceramic (for tiles and vanities) and bamboo (for cabinets and shelving) are just the tip of the iceberg.
- Renovate with recycled materials. Reclaimed wood and recycled tile are popular options, but glass and steel can also be reused for your shower doors, towel racks, and bathroom windows.
- Be VOC-free. Some paints, coatings, and furnishings (not to mention household cleaners and body care products) contain volatile organic compounds, or VOCs – harmful chemicals that poison indoor air quality. Choose certified VOC-free products to keep both you and your bathroom healthy and eco-friendly.
With these tips and the help of an equally eco-conscious contractor in Atlanta, you certainly can complete a green bathroom remodel.
Green Bathroom Remodeling, HouseLogic.com
7 Things to Consider for an Eco-Friendly Bathroom Remodel, Earth911.com
A 7-Step Checklist for an Eco-Friendly Bathroom Remodel, Elemental.Green