Tackling Energy Savings: Series Pt. III – Living Room
This post is the third in our series featuring ways to reduce consumption and save money in your home’s most used rooms.
Football is back and it’s time to score energy savings in the room where families across Virginia gather every weekend to watch the game. For many of us, the living room is the entertainment capital of the house. You can lead your entertainment center to optimal savings with a few energy efficient improvements. Practice makes perfect, so establishing energy saving habits will greatly improve your home’s efficiency. Here’s the game plan:
Start by clearing the area in front of air vents to avoid blocking cool air and/or heat. Install a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts your heating during times you’re typically away from home and during sleeping hours. If you have ceiling fans, set them to spin clockwise on colder days to push the warmer air down; ceiling fans allow you to lower your thermostat by 4°F without noticing a difference. You can also reduce your reliance on the thermostat on cold sunny days by opening blinds to heat your space naturally.
Still scrambling for more savings? Some simple practices include using the locks on your windows to make them tighter and draft resistant. Smart power strips have special settings that maintain continual power to a critical device while cutting electricity to others when they are not in use. Even traditional power strips are handy for powering off several unused devices with one flip of the switch. And if you have a fireplace, make sure the flue damper is closed tightly when not in use to prevent heated air from escaping through the chimney.
Make bigger plays by sealing leaks in your home that allow cold air in:
- Install foam gaskets behind your light switches and outlet faceplates to reduce air leaks through even the smallest of gaps and cracks.
- Caulk and seal windows and doors where air loss and leakage commonly occurs.
- Mail slots in doors are drafty and lead to major heating loss. If you don’t want to replace your entire mail slot, find models that attach to the inside of the door and are invisible from the outside. They cut down on drafts while still allowing mail to be pushed through.
- Have single-pane windows? Add storm panels to cut heat loss by 50 percent for a cheaper alternative than new window treatments.
And no living room is complete without an ENERGY STAR qualified television, which, on average, are 25 percent more energy efficient than conventional models.
Don’t get sacked by high energy bills. Protect your home with more energy saving tips and check back next week for our final installment on how to reduce your home’s energy consumption and save money.