All About Bathrooms

The bathroom is a great place to start if you're considering making smart improvements to your home. This room affords many opportunities for simple yet effective changes that will not only add value to your home, but also make your bathroom safer and more environmentally sound. Here are just a few ideas:

Water Conservation

Low-Flow Fixtures
Cut down on the amount of water used in your bathroom by switching to a low-flow, aerating shower head and faucets. These fixtures can reduce your home's water consumption by as much as 50 percent. Low-flow shower heads will use just 1.2 gallons of water per minute as opposed to the 2.5 gallon average, but the aerating feature makes the water flow seem just as strong.

Dual-flush Toilets
Dual-flush toilets allow users to select the amount of water flushed to correspond to the task at hand. There are two options; for solid waste there is a handle for a full 1.6 gallon flush, and for liquid you can choose a 0.8-1.1 gallon flush. You could save your family as much as 1,500 gallons a year with a dual-flush toilet - that's 60 percent to 80 percent less when compared with high volume toilets.
Safety First

Twenty-five percent of all household accidents occur in the bathroom. Take precautions and select nonslip materials for floors, tubs, and showers, and use bath mats with nonskid backing. Make sure your electrical outlets are protected with GFCI circuit interrupters, which cut off power immediately in the case of a current surge. These should be installed by a qualified electrician. Choose shatterproof or tempered materials when possible, and avoid installing wall fixtures at eye level. Finally, lower the setting of your water heater to avoid scalding and energy waste.
Solar Water Heaters

Water heating represents 15 percent of your home's overall energy consumption. Reduce your household's water heating costs with a solar water heater that utilizes the sun's natural resources to give water temperature a head start. Putting a solar heater on your roof can offset 15 kilowatts of energy per day from other sources and could save you $450 a year.