Towel warmers are a luxurious addition to any bathroom, providing a warm and cozy towel after a shower or bath. But, do they affect energy efficiency and energy bills? Here we will explore the impact of towel warmers on energy consumption and how to maximize their efficiency.
How Towel Warmers Work
They are essentially electric heating devices that warm up towels by using a heating element. They can be wall-mounted or free-standing and are available in different sizes and shapes. The most popular type are electric towel warmers, which are connected to the home's electrical system (hard-wired) and have an on/off switch. There are also many plug-in versions and models that offer both hard-wiring or plug-in options.
Towel warmers do consume energy, which means they can affect your energy bills. The amount of energy consumed depends on the size and type of towel warmer and how often it's used. Generally, towel warmers have a wattage ranging from 50 to 150 watts, with larger models consuming more energy. A standard 100-watt towel warmer used for an hour every day can add around $5 to $8 per month to your energy bill.
To maximize the efficiency of towel warmers, there are a few things you can do.
- Make sure to turn it off when not in use, especially when you're not at home. This can significantly reduce the energy consumption and save you money.
- Consider installing a timer or a programmable thermostat to control the usage of the towel warmer. This way, you can set it to turn on and off automatically, depending on your schedule.
Another way to save energy with towel warmers is by choosing the right size for your needs. A smaller towel warmer will consume less energy than a larger one, and it will still provide enough warmth for your towels. Additionally, consider installing the towel warmer in a location that receives plenty of sunlight, so it can benefit from natural heat and reduce its energy usage.
Lastly, consider using your towel warmer as a space heater during colder months. Some models have the option to adjust the temperature, allowing them to warm up the entire bathroom. This can save you money on heating costs while providing a cozy and comfortable environment.
Plug-in Towel Warmers vs. Hardwired Towel Warmers
When choosing between a plug-in towel warmer and a hardwired towel warmer, two main factors should be considered: appearance and installation requirements.
If you prefer a tidy and streamlined look without any visible wiring, a hardwired towel warmer is the ideal option. The wiring for these models is concealed within the wall, ensuring a neat and polished appearance. In contrast, the wire leading from a plug-in unit to the nearest outlet will be visible, which may detract from the overall aesthetic.
On the other hand, plug-in towel warmers are the simplest to install since they do not require any electrical work. These units can be mounted on the wall like a piece of art, and they only need an existing three-prong outlet to function. In contrast, hardwired towel warmers must be connected to a junction box, which necessitates additional effort. It is important to note that freestanding towel warmers will require a plug-in option.
When deciding between a plug-in or hardwired towel warmer, consider the desired appearance and the installation process. A hardwired option provides a clean look but requires additional installation work, while a plug-in option is simpler to install but may have visible wiring. Freestanding towel warmers are typically plug-in options.
Towel warmers can affect energy efficiency and energy bills, but with proper usage and maintenance, you can minimize their impact. By choosing the right size, turning it off when not in use, and installing a timer or thermostat, you can save money and reduce energy consumption. Additionally, consider using it as a space heater during colder months to maximize its efficiency. With these tips, you can enjoy the luxury of warm towels without breaking the bank.