Staying comfortable in your bedroom is definitely necessary. However, according to the U.S. Department of Energy website, heating and cooling, through various systems in an average home, are responsible for 56 percent of your energy usage. In most cases, heating and cooling are the largest energy expenses in the home. Since we all want to be comfortable when we sleep, here are a few simple ways to lower that energy use and still snooze to your heart’s delight:
- Open the windows in your bedroom when possible. This is the easiest way to cool a room. If the weather permits, allow the wind, sun, rain, and snow to do their thing.
- Use ceiling fans to circulate the air from your air conditioner to cool yourself. Even a stifling breeze will help to regulate your body temperature. Fans shouldn’t be counted on to cool your entire home. But if you have a big enough ceiling fan in each room, you may not even have to turn on your air conditioner to find relief from the heat.
- Make sure that all vents and registers are clear and free to heat or cool the room as needed. If the register is covered, then you are blocking out the circulation of air. Before you decide to turn the thermostat up or down, double check your registers.
- Close the registers in any room you aren’t using. It costs more in money and in energy to heat and cool every room in your home. When you leave the registers open in a room that you rarely enter, you are paying to heat or cool a room that nobody uses.
- Check your bedroom for leaks. Caulk any leaks that you may find in your insulation or windows.
- Use energy-efficient lights beside your bed for nighttime reading.
- In the winter, set your thermostat to 68°F during the day and lower at night; according to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can easily save energy and money this way. It may seem that you should have it warmer when you sleep, but if you have already added extra sheets, blankets, or jammies, then you are taking care of yourself rather than paying an energy company to do it for you.
- Set your thermostat to 78°F in the summer, only when you need cooling. Before you leave the house, make sure to set it for a higher temperature to avoid cooling an empty house. And vice versa for heating.
- Add plastic film to any single-paned windows in the winter to prevent cold air from coming in. Just be sure to seal the plastic tightly around the frame. If you live in an area that has extremely cold winters, try replacing your windows with double-paned windows. It may seem like an expensive alternative, but think about the money you will save on your energy bill in the long run.
- Use heavy curtains or draperies on your windows. In the winter, the cold air can’t pass through as easily. In the summer, they will block the sun and keep the room cooler.
We all want to be as snug as a bug when we sleep. However, using your thermostat to do what you can accomplish on your own with a few simple changes, allows money and energy to fly out the window. Take the time to consider how you want to conserve your energy in the bedroom. This is your place of sanctuary and rest. You don’t want to drift off into dreamland only to have haunting images of that scary energy bill keeping you awake and restless. With these few simple changes, you can sleep peacefully, comfortably, and affordably.
Great Green Tip
Need a loud and obnoxious alarm clock to rouse you in the morning? Don’t waste money and energy on large displays, clock radios, snooze buttons, timers, and digital thermometers. Use a wind-up alarm clock. When that alarm goes off at six in the morning, you will jump out of bed to shut it off. And you will be wide awake and ready to face the world rather than pushing the snooze button until you are late, scrambling for breakfast, and rushing out the door for work.