Lifestyle

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• Products may be outdated.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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