Reducing your energy use not only reduces your carbon footprint, it also saves you money. And with kids, you have to save money where you can. While you spend almost one-third of your life your bedroom, you’re usually unconscious so it’s easy to forget about it. Like all the rooms in your house, there are many things you can do to cut energy waste. Some of them are seasonal, while others can reduce energy use year-round.
Open the Windows and Doors: Stale, motionless air can make anyone start sweating. Once the temperature starts to cool down outside, throw open the windows and doors to get the air moving. You can strategically use fans to move air throughout the house. Try placing a box fan in one window to blow air out and pull air in through windows at the other end of the house. Fresh air in the bedroom can help you sleep better and improve your next-day performance.
Install a Ceiling Fan: While a ceiling fan does use energy, it uses far less than an air conditioner. Plus, it keeps the air circulating while you sleep.
Set the Bed Right: Your mattress and bedding make a big difference to your comfort. Innerspring and hybrid mattresses are more breathable than memory foam and many of them can be found for under $1,000. You can also use linen or cotton sheets, which have a looser weave and better breathability.
Turn Down the Thermostat: Every degree you turn the thermostat down is energy and money saved. If you can, set your thermostat on a timer so you don’t have to turn it down manually.
Close the Bedroom Doors: It’s easier to warm an enclosed space than an open one so close both the closet and the bedroom doors to maximize your heat use.
Bulk Up Your Bedding: A memory foam mattress topper and flannel sheets can help keep you warm and toasty on those cold windy nights. Don’t forget an extra blanket and even an old-fashioned hot water bottle if you live in a chilly climate.
Use Window Coverings to Your Advantage: Curtains, drapes, and blinds can be used for temperature control any time of the year. In the summer, let the morning breeze in the house, but shut everything once it starts to warm up. Keep the heat out by closing the curtains when the temperatures are at their peak.
Turn Off Electronics (and Consolidate Your Cords): Even when your electronics aren’t in use, they suck up small amounts of power. When you’re not in the bedroom, unplug them. You can make it easier on yourself by using extension cords to plug all your devices and lighting into one power strip. Then you only have to unplug or turn off one switch.
Seal the Windows: Summer or winter, check for draughts or broken seals around your windows. Air seeping through is like energy and money flowing out of your house and down the street.
Motion-Activated Night Lights: Rather than a night light that’s on 24/7, try one that’s motion activated. It’ll use less power and you’ll still safely reach the bathroom.
The bedroom is one of the simpler rooms to make energy efficient. With a little planning and rearranging of cords, you can make sure you’re not wasting precious energy.
About the Author:
Samantha Kent is a researcher for SleepHelp.org. Her favorite writing topic is how getting enough sleep can improve your life. Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, she sleeps in a California King bed, often with a cat on her face.