Editors' Blog

Green Living editors dish on the latest trends and happenings in sustainability.

Bathroom Electricity Savers

Before contractor Chris Vanderwal started rebuilding the bathroom, he kept a few things out of landfill. A neighbour claimed a bathroom mirror and Chris took the toilet, countertop and sinks to a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. We did the same thing when we greened the demolition during a kitchen renovation.

If you’re renovating anyway, it makes so much sense to purchase energy-saving fixtures over conventional ones. It’s the gift that keeps on giving: using less energy means you’ll spend less on bills for years to come. You can save twice if the upgrades qualify for rebates.

Here’s what we’re doing to lower the energy footprint of this small bathroom:


These batts of Roxul mineral wool insulation around the shower get extra eco points for being made in Canada and containing recycled content. They’ll retain bathroom heating in winter and keep exterior heat out in summer.

Energy-efficient lighting

We love recessed lighting, but skip the wasteful halogen lights and use LED lighting or CFL light bulbs instead (you won’t believe how much you’ll pay less for lighting). Chris is installing a moisture-resistant light in the shower area.

In-floor heating

A SunTouch WarmWire floor warming kit cost less than radiant heating mats and will keep everyone’s feet toasty. When your feet feel warm, you can lower the thermostat a degree or two—more savings!

Programmable thermostat

In-floor heating gets way more efficient when you control it with a SunTouch programmable thermostat.

Energy Star–certified ventilation fan

You may be tempted to skimp on the bathroom fan because nobody looks at the ceiling, right? Don’t cheap out! The fan needs to be powerful enough to extract moist air, and efficient enough not to be blowing money into thin air. This NuTone model is strong but quiet. Run the bathroom fan for a good 20 to 30 minutes after every shower and bath to protect your family and house from mould.

Next week we’ll show you how we’re helping these owners save water. Meanwhile, check out more beautiful Bathroom Remodeling ideas on EcoLiving.