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Showerheads

  • Before installing a new showerhead check how much water flows through your existing one. To do this, you can purchase an inexpensive flow bag, or make one at home using a gallon jug.  Measure how much water flows in one minute.
  • Older showerheads can use five gallons of water per minute or more.  Choose designs that deliver multiple, individual streams, rather than mist-like sprays, as they are more energy efficient.
  • Try a showerhead with integral or add-on “soap” valve - a device that fits between the shower arm and the showerhead and temporarily reduces the shower stream to a trickle while the user soaps up, and without changing the temperature.
  • Install a chlorine filter to remove chlorine from your shower water as a precautionary measure against harmful fumes.
  • View more Eco-Cool Remodel plumbing resources

Toilets

Toilet flushing is often the largest single use of water in a home, especially in an older home, but is also an easy opportunity to get instant water savings. 

Before You Buy…

  • Many old toilets leak significant amounts of water due to failing flappers. Check for a leak by placing dye tablets or food coloring in the water tank. If dye appears in the bowl within 15 minutes, replacing the inexpensive flapper alone will save water.
  • Before shopping for a new toilet, check for rebates from your water utility.

Toilet Options

  • Consider installing a composting toilet that converts human waste to nutrient-rich fertilizer for non-food plants and uses little to no potable water for flushing.
  • Consider a dual-flush toilet, which supports 0.8 gallons per flush for liquids, 1.28 gallons per flush for solids.
  • Research and compare high-efficiency WaterSense labeled models that use 1.28 gallons or less per flush, or MaP Premium toilets which use 1.06 gallons per flush. Older toilets can be huge water wasters, using as much as five gallons per flush.
  • View more Eco-Cool Remodel plumbing resources

Bathroom faucet

  • Before installing a new faucet, check how much water flows through your existing one. To do this, you can purchase an inexpensive flow bag), or make one at home using a gallon jug.  Measure how much water flows in one minute.
  • Choose WaterSense labeled bathroom faucets and aerators that can reduce a sink's water flow by 30 percent or more without sacrificing performance.
  • Since bathroom sink faucets are heavily used, durability is a key consideration when replacing your faucet.  Look for a product with a long warranty.

Bathroom exhaust fan

Without proper ventilation, moisture from the bathroom can lead to mildew, mold and structural damage. This can also occur if exhaust goes into an attic or crawlspace. Simple fixes can help prevent these problems.

Operational Improvements for Existing Fans

  • For an existing fan, pull the fan cover down from the ceiling. Check to see if there is a gap between the fan housing and the ceiling material. Seal any gaps with caulk. This will not only prevent warm, moist air from going into your attic, but it will also make your fan more effective because it will only pull air from the bathroom.
  • Check to see if there is a damper where the bath fan vent exits the house. This will help keep conditioned air in the house when the fan is not in use and help keep bugs out.

New Fan Considerations

  • Purchase a fan that is HVI inspected or ENERGY STAR rated. 
  • A fan with a rating of 1.0 sones or less is exceptionally quiet and more likely to be used – protecting your bathroom from moisture damage. ENERGY STAR certified fans must be 2.0 sones or less, but there are many models that have a much lower sone rating. 
  • If possible, use a 5-inch or 6-inch duct instead of a 4-inch duct. A larger duct and vent prevents flow problems. Do not allow the duct to sag – this can accumulate water. Ensure the ducts are sealed with mastic and not duct tape.
  • View more Eco-Cool Remodel energy resources

Bathroom flooring

Bathroom lighting

Additional resources

Showerheads/faucets

Toilets

Bathroom Fans

Other

Related information

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