Shower vs. Bath? Which One Saves More Energy?

It’s an old debate. Which of the following is better for energy conservation and for the environment? Taking a shower or taking a bath? Your grandmother had her theories. Your mother had hers. But times have changed. And we’re here today to put an end to this seemingly never-ending question.

When it comes to water usage in the average household, more than half of it is used in the bathroom. And because of the large amount being used, this also give you the opportunity to save both water and money.

So the question is, does it cost more to shower or to take a bath? Some believe that taking a bath is more economically friendly because the water is not running the entire time. But if you stop and think about it, how much water does it really take to fill a tub?

That very question alone should lead you to believe that taking a shower uses less water. But then again, that depends on how long your showers are. For the typical individual, taking a shower will use less water. But if you like to take 30 minute showers, then taking a bath saves more.

Also, we should point out that the type of showerhead you use makes a huge difference. In the past, older showerheads delivered between five and eight gallons of water per minute (GPM). But newer and current low-flow showerheads only deliver about 1.5 gallons per minute.

So let’s perform a couple of calculations based on a 10-minute shower:

  • Older outdated showerhead: Up to 80 gallons used.
  • Low-flow showerhead: 15 gallons used.

So here is your first important lesson of this article. If you are not using a low-flow showerhead, then you are just flushing both water and money down the drain. You can find good 1.5 GPM low-flow showerheads on Amazon starting at around $8 so there’s no excuse for not owning one.

But if you’re insistent on taking a bath, here are a few tips:

  • Try to only partially fill up the tub and not waste water by filling it to capacity.
  • When you turn on the faucet, plug the drain right away. Don’t waste water by waiting for it to heat first. As you fill the tub, adjust the water temperature along the way.

Here are a few tips for taking a shower:

  • Consider shortening the length of your showers. Use the sample calculation above to figure out how much water you can save by shaving off a few minutes. The more you shorten it, the more you save.
  • Consider purchasing a shower timer. You can find these waterproof timers on Amazon starting at around $15. These timers will alert you as to when your time is up. Or if you don’t want to buy a timer, you could silently countdown to yourself in seconds (for example, 300 seconds for 5 minutes).

You may be wondering how the debate of bath versus shower relates to energy and electricity costs. The answer is simple. In order to heat the water, your hot water heater must be used. And of course, your hot water heater uses electricity.

If there’s anything to take away from this article, it’s that you should invest in a low-flow showerhead right away. Your checking account will appreciate the lower water and electricity bills.

2018-09-07T13:42:17+00:00 September 7th, 2018|