It pays to go green when adding new fixtures to home

For some homeowners, remodeling projects are regular occurrences to keep their homes looking fresh. Sometimes, that means smaller changes like a new coat of paint or changing a light fixture. Other times, more substantial changes are needed. Determining those changes can be a challenge, but looking at the potential return on investment is a great way to prioritize.

Bathroom remodeling offers a 68.7 percent return on investment, according to a National Association of Realtors survey. One way to add value to a bathroom remodel is to pick bathroom fixtures that are more efficient than what you currently have installed. Americans are going green in many areas of life, whether with more energy-efficient light bulbs, hybrid cars or by recycling more regularly. Bathroom fixtures are no different.

Here are three reasons why you should consider going green with your bathroom modeling project:

• Products may be outdated. Toilets made before 1994 use anywhere from 3.5 gallons to 8 gallons per flush, while new EPA WaterSense-labeled high-efficiency toilets can work beautifully on a modest 1.28 gpf. Not sure of your toilet’s vintage? Look at the underside of the tank lid – the date of manufacture is often stamped into the porcelain.

In the shower, older showerheads can use as much as 2.5 gallons per minute. At that rate, an eight-minute shower consumes a whopping 20 gallons of water.

• There is money to be saved. Using a high-efficiency toilet, a family of four can save more than $90 annually on their water bill and $2,000 over the lifetime of the toilet.

A modern showered can provide the same luxurious shower, yet consume a responsible 14 gallons, saving 20 percent of the water used by older models.

• Be a trendy homeowner. A whopping 68 percent of builders surveyed by the National Association of Home Builders say energy-saving technologies and features including low-E windows, energy-efficient appliances and LED lighting will be common along with other green features like engineered wood products and water-saving plumbing fixtures by 2015. Start now and you’ll be ahead of the curve.

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