Week of May 21, 2007
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Bathroom Improvements Can Save Water and Energy

In celebration of May as Remodeling Month, NAHB Remodelers is providing consumers with information on how they can make smart choices for their next bathroom improvement project to help improve their home’s energy efficiency and reduce water usage.

"Home owners can easily transform their bathrooms with these simple energy- and water-efficient upgrades," said NAHB Remodelers Chair Mike Nagel, CGR, CAPS, a remodeler from Chicago. "Whether it's simply swapping out a shower head or completely gutting the room, it makes a lot of sense to go green when remodeling a bathroom."

For a start, energy-efficient tankless water heaters are good replacements for traditional water heaters, which have an average life span of 10 to 11 years. Heating water can account for about 15% of a home's energy bill, and an efficient heater can save $40 to $100 in energy costs annually.

Following are the life spans and energy-saving opportunities of the most common fixtures in the bathroom:

  • Showerhead — Average life span: lifetime of home.
    A high-efficiency showerhead can save $15 a year on the water bill, making it a smart, simple choice when remodeling the bathroom.

  • Toilet — Average life span: lifetime of home.
    Though some items may need replacement, the typical toilet can last practically forever. A high-efficiency model, however, can save more than $90 a year in water use.

  • Ventilation Fans — Average life span: 10 years.
    Home owners will save electricity by using energy-efficient exhaust fans. When remodeling the bathroom, an Energy-Star-rated fan can save $120 over the product's lifespan.

  • Bathroom Faucets — Average life span: 20 years.
    A high-efficiency water faucet may only save about $3 a year, but that puts an additional $60 in the home owner’s pocket over the product's life.



‘Design Ideas for Bathrooms” Available at BuilderBooks.com

Design Ideas for Bathrooms,” available through BuilderBooks.com, features more than 500 photographs of professionally-designed bathrooms. 

This book also includes “Smart Tips” and sidebars that provide information at a glance.

To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.


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