The living room is aptly named, after all it’s where you do most of your home living. Whether you’re reading the paper in the morning, watching TV after work, or playing with the kids, you spend a lot of time relaxing in this space. By making some minor changes and updates, you can significantly save energy and money.
1. Replace standard bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. Your living room has more lights than most rooms in the house, so installing efficient bulbs can make a big difference. These bulbs last longer and use less energy. Also, always turn off the lights when leaving the room.
2. In winter, keep your blinds or drapes open so the sun’s heat can warm the room. In summer, close blinds to keep the room cooler.
3. Use a surge protector, such as the Monster Cable 6-outlet Digital Power Center, as a central device to turn off all your electronics. This surge protector uses GreenPower technology to keep you from wasting standby power, which is the energy consumed by devices when they’re not in use. The surge protector detects when any connected electronic device is turned off or asleep, and then automatically turns off the unit’s outlet.
4. Choose a LED TV. It uses less energy than a Plasma, and will save you money over time. The Samsung UN32D6500, a top rated flat panel TV, is up to 50% more efficient than current ENERGY STAR standards. Its Eco Sensor feature adjusts the screen depending on the light in the room, giving you the best picture possible while using as little energy as possible.
5. Install a ceiling fan. It can keep your living room at a more comfortable temperature, year round. In the summer, if you turn the thermostat up two degrees and use your ceiling fan, you can lower air conditioning costs by up to 14 percent, according to ENERGY STAR. In the winter, operate the fan in the opposite direction (most models have a switch that lets you do this), which will blow warm air up by the ceiling down into the living room.
Do you have any other tips for making your living room more efficient? Let us know in the comments.