Toilets, showerheads and faucets have all become more water-efficient in recent years. During your bathroom remodel, consider replacing older, inefficient faucets, showerheads and toilets to conserve water and save money on your utility bills. According to water conservationist George Whalen, making the switch to water-saving fixtures can save you up to $100 a year in utility costs. Here you'll find excellent ways to make your bathroom remodel more water-efficient.
1. Low-Flow Toilets
Consider adding low-flow toilets to your bathroom, whether you're looking to make a lower-impact on the environment or want to lower your utility bills. According to The Family Handyman, modern low-flow toilets use as few as 1.6 gallons of water per flush while older-style toilets use up to 7 gallons per flush. There are three primary toilet designs that can help you save on your water bills:
- Gravity-Fed Tank: Gravity-fed toilets are the most recognized and inexpensive type of low-flow toilet. Gravity-fed toilets rely on the volume and weight of the water in the toilet tank to efficiently flush waste.
- Two-Button Flush: The two-button flush toilet has a gravity-fed tank that features two different volumes of water. It gives a half flush for liquid wastes and a full flush for solid wastes.
- Power-Assist Toilet: This toilet uses compressed air to make the toilet flush down waste. Instead of water being held in the toilet bowl, all water is held inside a pressurized tank inside the toilet.
2. Water-Saving Faucets
Faucets account for over 15 percent of all indoor water-use in households, using up to 1 trillion gallons of water in the U.S. each year, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. By installing low-flow water-saving faucets and accessories in your bathroom, you can save hundreds of gallons of water each year. Water-efficient faucets deliver fewer gallons per minute which can save a significant amount of water over time.
3. Low-Flow Showerheads
Showers use approximately 12 percent of the water used in most households, according to Waterwise. There are two primary types of low-flow showerheads. The most common type used in bathrooms is the aerating showerhead that combines water with air. The other type if a non-aerating showerhead that provides low-flow efficiency by delivering fewer gallons of water per minute.
4. Tankless Water Heater
Although your water heater may not physically be in your bathroom, it can make a big impact on your bathroom's efficiency. While the initial cost of a tankless water heater is more than your standard water heater, the lifetime savings can be substantial. Tankless systems provide hot water on demand and do not waste money on heating unused water. Tankless systems are also more space-savvy, using only a fraction of the space of a standard water heater.
Other Water-Saving Tips to Use in the Bathroom:
- Spend less time in the shower. It may be helpful to time yourself with an alarm clock.
- Turn off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving.
- Stick to showers and use baths as an occasional treat.
- Fix any leaky faucets as these constant drips can waste tons of water.
- Don't flush things down the toilet to dispose of them. Throw all bathroom waste except toilet paper in the garbage.
- Use your water meter to check for hidden leaks. Read the meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the reading is not the same, water may be leaking.
- Use your washing machine and dishwasher for only full loads.
If you're in the midst of a bathroom remodel, be sure to choose your toilet, showerhead and faucets wisely. Choosing water-efficient fixtures can save you a significant amount of water and money. For more information about these water-efficient items, contact your local plumbing professional.