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No one wants to spend more on monthly energy bills. One of the quickest ways to reduce your electricity bill is by trimming back your energy consumption. It may come as a surprise, but your bedroom can consume a lot of electricity each month.
SaveOnEnergy is here with tips to help you lower your electricity usage with our energy-saving series. We’re going room by room to help you make sure your home is functioning at peak efficiency. In this week’s installment, we look at how to save energy in the bedroom.
It’s no surprise that heating and cooling are two of the main culprits when it comes to energy consumption. In fact, Energy Star estimates that about 43 percent of a year’s energy bills go toward heating and air conditioning.
In your bedroom, the thermostat setting can impact your quality of sleep. So, how can you lower your heating and cooling costs without sacrificing a good night’s sleep? Here are some of our top tips:
- Turning your thermostat’s setting back 7-10 degrees for eight hours each day could save you up to 10 percent a year. If you’re going to the office each day or headed out on a holiday shopping trip, remember to lower your thermostat so you aren’t paying to heat an empty house.
- In the winter, the ideal setting for your thermostat is 68 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re awake. When you leave the house or go to sleep, follow the tip above!
- Opting for a smart thermostat can help you reduce your home’s energy consumption. Programmable thermostats will work to heat your home to normal temperatures before you wake up or get home from work. And if you invest in a smart thermostat, you could control your home’s temperature remotely.
- The location of your thermostat matters. If placed in an inefficient spot, your thermostat could have “ghost readings” where it runs heating or cooling cycles unnecessarily. According to the Department of Energy, thermostats should be placed on an interior wall away from direct sunlight, doors, skylights, and windows.
Ceiling fans offer another way to control your home’s temperature without breaking the bank. In fact, ceiling fans are twice as energy efficient as your air conditioning.
On average, it costs about one cent an hour to run a ceiling fan. Here are a few ways to use your ceiling fans to your advantage:
- In the colder months, switch your ceiling fan’s direction to clockwise. A clockwise motion will pull hot air down from the ceiling. This will help keep you warm while using half as much energy as your A/C.
- When paired with an energy efficient AC system, ceiling fans can control your home’s temperature at a fraction of the cost during warmer months. With your ceiling fans running, you can increase the temperature of your thermostat by four degrees without sacrificing comfort.
- Remember to turn your ceiling fans off when you aren’t in the room. Ceiling fans don’t actually cool the room, they just create a wind-chill effect that makes you feel cooler. So, when you aren’t in the room, you don’t need to keep the fan on.
The windows in your bedroom can impact how much energy you consume, too. Inefficient windows can be your home’s biggest energy leak. Make sure your windows aren’t letting warm air out – or cold air inside. Below you can find a few tips for energy efficient windows:
- It’s important to inspect your bedroom windows every year and re-caulk any gaps that you find. If these gaps aren’t sealed properly, the warm air that your AC is working so hard to create is able to flow right outside. See SaveOnEnergy’s weatherstripping guide to learn more.
- Double-pane windows are more energy efficient than single-pane windows. That second pane creates more insulation and will help you keep your bedroom temperature at a consistent level.
- If you’re able to replace inefficient windows, look for the Energy Star certification to make sure you’re buying the most energy efficient models. You can also read NFRC ratings before choosing your new bedroom windows.
- Your choice in bedroom curtains can impact how much energy you use. Blackout curtains keep the sun from waking you up, but they also keep the sun’s warm rays from heating your room up while you sleep. In the summer, this can help you keep your cooling costs lower. In the winter, be sure to open those curtains so the sun can heat up your bedroom.
If you set your phone on your nightstand to charge every night, you aren’t alone. It isn’t uncommon to have electronics set up in the bedroom, whether it’s phones, TVs, or laptops. Here are a few ways to ensure your electronics aren’t consuming too much energy:
- Be on the lookout for energy vampires in your bedroom. These are electronics that consume energy even when they aren’t being used. Key electricity vampires include your cellphone charger, heated blanket, and humidifier. When these devices aren’t being used, remember to unplug them.
- An extension cord can make it easy to switch off several electronics at once before you go to sleep each night.
- If you enjoy watching TV before going to sleep, remember to set up the television’s sleep mode. This way, if you fall asleep with your favorite show still running, your TV will turn off automatically instead of playing all night.
Interested in reading about how to save energy in other rooms? See our previous installment below:
Caitlin Cosper is a writer within the energy and power industry. Born in Georgia, she attended the University of Georgia before earning her master’s in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.