Energy-Efficient Laundry Room
You probably think of your kitchen as the room in your home where energy-efficiency really matters. However, your laundry room can also be a big guzzler of energy and water. The laundry room shown here is from the zero-energy Concept Home 2011 by BUILDER magazine with Martha Stewart. This show home demonstrates ideas that may be incorporated into a remodeling project, as well as a new home. Just a few of the ideas include:
Choose Energy and Water Efficient Appliances
Look for ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances to ensure they meet government standards. This helps conserve natural resources and saves you money on utility bills. For example, the Whirlpool efficient Duet washer installed in this laundry room can use up to 77% less water and 81% less energy over traditional top-load washers.
Bring In Natural Light
Use a tubular skylight to bring natural daylight into a windowless room. This helps decrease the use of electric lights, thereby decreasing your electric bill. A tubular skylight is thin enough to fit between roof rafters or trusses and ceiling joints. This interior windowless laundry room benefits from the addition of a VELUX Sun Tunnel skylight.
Use a Ventilation Fan
Install an ENERGY STAR® qualified ventilation fan to remove excess moisture from your laundry room while adding very little to your utility bill. The laundering process releases humidity into the room that must be properly ventilated or mold and mildew problems could result. The energy-efficient Broan-NuTone fan in the Concept Home laundry room costs approximately $1 per year to operate.
Select Low-flow Faucets
A WaterSense™ labeled low-flow faucet can provide the experience of a strong water flow, while cutting back on water usage. The utility sink in the Concept Home is fitted with a low-flow faucet by Kohler, which can deliver up to 45% water savings over traditional 2.75 gpm faucets. Sink water is also filtered and redistributed for outside irrigation.
Provide On-demand Solar Hot Water
Instead of a traditional tank water heater, the Concept Home runs on an on-demand hot water recirculation system. Water is heated by rooftop solar panels and then stored in an 80-gallon thermal tank. When demanded, the hot water is circulated through a loop under the slab to the required outlet.