Thursday, 15 January 2009

Green Bathroom Renovation on a Budget

As the global economy reels, and foreclosure rates continue to set new records across the country, more Americans are using green bathroom renovation to save water and energy use as well as a reduction in sewage and gas production. Contrary to the belief by some that green remodeling is expensive. The initial cost may be expensive, but the savings in water and energy bills are immediate and the benefits, lasting. Here are tips on how to create your next eco-friendly bathroom on a budget.

Save money by installing a low-flush toilet
Think of this this dirty estimate. According to the EPA, about 4.8 billion gallons of water are flushed down the toilet every day. To break it down for your share of the billions of water going down the drain everyday, American Water Works Association, an average household uses 20-28 gallons per day just to flush the toilet. Therefore, toilets are the singular and most important way that water goes down the drain. That's why in 1999 the Energy Act, mandated residential toilets to use only 1.6 gallons of water per flush compared to 3.5-5 gallons of water per flush toilets. Cut back by installing an ultra-low-flush toilet.

Dual-Flush Toilets save water bills
As the name implies dual flush toilets offer two types of flushing modes, one mode for number one and the other mode for number two. One of the modes uses only 0 .8 - 1.1 gallons of water per flush.

Save water bills by installing low-flow shower heads
The next water guzzler after toilets and washing machines, are showers heads. By installing new low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators homeowners are reducing their consumption by as much as 50%. In addition and equally important is that the cost of the energy that is used in heating the water is also reduced. Reduction in water use benefits the environment and puts quite some green in your wallet.

Be thankful for a tank-less water heater
Here are reasons to be thankful for tank-less water heater after your eco-friendly remodeling.
1. Tank-less water heaters never run out of hot water- you save energy because of not losing heat in the water tank.
2. Immediate and constant flow of hot water
3. Low energy use means low carbon emissions.
4. Besides energy efficiency, tank-less water heaters take up less space, are easy to maintain, and more convenient to operate.

Use skylights or compact fluorescent lighting
Indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air. By installing skylights, you enjoy the twin benefits of fresh air and huge savings on energy bills. There are also available today, varieties of electric bulbs or compact fluorescent bulbs that save money and the environment.

Use recycled or recyclable materials
The complaint used to be that recycled and recyclable floor materials or even counter-tops are not available. Bathtub refinishing for instance, saves beautiful antiques, bathtubs and counter-tops from ending up at the landfills. Additionally, bathtub refinishing is about 20% of the cost of tub replacement.

Get greener cleaners
Now that you've taken the time to renovate your bathroom in the most eco-friendly way available, with the resources available to you, don't undermine your environmental gains by using cleaning products containing VOC's. We recommend that after your green remodeling, that your indoor-air quality by using non-toxic organic soaps and cleaners.

Wilson Uche Ukah, is the President of Refinishing Stars, a bathtub refinishing company serving the bathtub reglazing needs of homeowners in Atlanta, Chattanooga, Nashville and Knoxville. Refinishing Stars, refinishes bathtubs, sinks, and countertops for hotels and motels nationwide. He writes regularly on green remodeling. Wilson can be reached at or

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