Use Your Remodel To Maximize The Energy Efficiency Of Your Shower

You can always reduce your water bill by taking shorter showers, but this is not an option that holds a lot of satisfaction for many people. While you are remodeling your bathroom, you should consider these options as a way to retain your shower time while also saving money on your monthly bills.

Showerheads

Standard showerheads use an average of 2.5 gallons of water per minute. While this doesn't seem like much, multiply that times 10 minutes every single day, and it comes to over 9,000 gallons a year. The EPA created the WaterSense program to help you reduce the water usage of your shower. In order to get the label, a showerhead needs to use 2 gallons of water per minute or less, a savings of nearly 2,000 gallons of water per year.

Fortunately, this reduction in water usage does not have to lower your enjoyment of your shower. High quality low-flow showerheads use specially designed nozzles to maintain water pressure, so you don't feel a difference. If you are considering a luxury shower with multiple shower heads, this is an even more important investment, since each head multiplies your savings.

Steamer

A new shower feature is specialized steamers. They heat up just a couple gallons of cold water until it boils and produces steam. This way you can sit back and relax in your own personal sauna without having to waste gallons of hot water by running your shower on hot until your bathroom fills with steam. As homeowners continue to dump their bathtubs for luxury showers, this is a great energy saving upgrade.

Drain System

When you build a shower that has multiple shower heads, you need to increase the drain size in order to handle the additional water flow. While the plumber is installing the new pipes, you should have them install a drain water heat recovery system. A flexible pipe is wrapped around your drain pipe and cold water is run through it.

Some of the heat from the water going down the drain is naturally transferred into the cold water in the other pipe. The warmed up water then runs into your normal water heating system. Since the heater doesn't have to heat the water as far, it reduces your energy bills. Once you realize how great this passive system is, you can add them to your sinks and washing machine drains.

There are a few variations in these systems, so that they can best compliment the rest of your plumbing, so be sure to work with a plumber who is knowledgeable in hot water recovery and can advise you on what will best work with your water heater and other plumbing.

Water Heater

Speaking of water heaters, this appliance is at the core of your water usage costs. There are several types of water heaters available that can assist in making your system more efficient. Which type is best for your home will depend on your usage patterns.

  • In some cases, a traditional water heater might still be your best choice. These are budget-friendly, and newer units will still represent a significant energy savings over your older heater.
  • A solar water heater is a good alternative to solar electricity, since capturing the heat directly is easier than converting the energy into electricity. If your usage is light enough, you might be able to get by with this single system, but it is likely you will need a secondary heater to take care of the winter months and cloudy days.
  • Tankless water heaters have gotten a lot of press recently. They heat water as needed instead of constantly warming a tank full of water. They are touted as a more efficient option, but they do have their limits. They draw energy less often, but when they do, it is a large amount. In some locations, it isn't possible to draw enough energy to use one of these heaters. In addition, they usually can only heat enough water for one use at a time. A small family won't find this terribly restrictive, but as the number of people in the house grows. it will get increasingly difficult to coordinate hot water usage.

There are a lot of individual components that go into a hot shower, and every single one of them uses energy. By maximizing the efficiency of each stage of the process, you can reduce the cost of your daily shower in a big way. Contact your residential plumbing repair service for more information or assistance.

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