The bedroom should be a place to get a relaxing night’s sleep, and the last thing you want to worry about when you’re snuggled up for the evening is whether you’re wasting energy and running up your utility bills. Fortunately, with a few simple adjustments you can make your dreams of an energy efficient bedroom come true and start saving money in your sleep. Read on for a wealth of tips on how to make your bedroom more energy efficient – without sacrificing your nighttime comfort.
1. Saving Energy With New Windows
Careful attention to your windows is probably the number one way to create a more energy-efficient bedroom. Old windows are notorious for heat transfer, allowing warm or cool air to escape from your home in the winter and summer, respectively. If you are in the market for an upgrade, consider energy-efficient, double-pane windows to make your bedroom quieter while doing a great job of insulating your house. Properly installed storm windows can also reduce cooling or heating loss. You may even be eligible for tax credits when you install energy-efficient windows!
If new windows are out of your budget, or you’re a renter, plastic covering or insulation film is a cheap and easy way to cut down on drafts in the winter.
2. Use Your Drapes to Your Advantage
It’s not just the windows themselves that can save you energy. Effective use of drapes, blinds or curtains is also a good way to control the room temperature without resorting to the thermostat. Direct sunlight can raise the temperature of a room, so closing blinds and curtains during the day in summer will keep your room cooler and put less strain on your air conditioner. During the winter, keep blinds open during the day to help heat the room, and close them at night to retain the heat and save even more energy. If you’re in the market for something new, keep in mind that curtains or drapes, especially insulating or blackout drapes, block the heat and sun more effectively than blinds.
3. Shut Down Your Electronic Devices
It’s rare to find an electronic-free bedroom these days, whether it’s a big-screen television or just a handy tablet on the bedside table. To prevent wasted electricity, unplug your devices when they aren’t in use, as nearly every piece of equipment uses up some power even when it’s switched off. Don’t leave devices like phones and laptops to charge overnight or they’ll keep sucking electricity out of your outlets even after the batteries are full. Even a humble phone charger on its own can sap trace amounts of electricity, so it’s best to unplug it entirely when it’s not in use.
4. Shore up the Walls With Proper Insulation
Do you ever notice that your bedroom gets colder than the rest of the house? The room may be suffering from a dearth of insulation behind the walls, especially if you live in an older home, giving you the chills at night while negatively impacting your heating costs at the same time. Depending on the age and construction of your room, you might consider a full-on gut job with new fiberglass batts to repel the cold, or a less invasive solution using spray foam blown into the wall at strategic locations might be a better fit for your skills and budget. Don’t forget about the ceiling, either, especially if the room is directly below the roof.
For renters or a less expensive solution, a nice rug can help as well by keeping your feet warm when you walk around, which will make you feel more comfortable and less shocked by a cold floor.
5. Get the Most From Your Ceiling Fans
When considering how to save energy in the bedroom, one useful but often overlooked tool is the ceiling fan. When the stifling summer heat sets in, a ceiling fan can make your room feel around 10 degrees cooler while using less energy than your air conditioner. The fans work their magic by rotating counterclockwise to move the air around you and carry the heat away from your body. Perhaps counterintuitively, the ceiling fan can still be your friend in the winter as well. Simply switch the fan to rotate clockwise at a slow speed and it will push the warm air down from the ceiling, enabling you to make the most of your heat and not feel compelled to bump up the thermostat.
6. Transform the Bed into a Fortress of Warmth
Different people have different sleeping preferences, but if you are the type that enjoys spending the night under a big pile of blankets, you’re in luck when it comes to energy efficiency. Each degree lower that you can tick down your thermostat means more savings on your heating bills, while you are still warm and cozy sleeping under a veritable mountain of layers. To make for a really snug evening, consider thick socks and a sleeping hat to keep your extremities extra-insulated.
7. Consider a Space Heater
If blankets and flannel pajamas aren’t enough for you, one trick you could try to stay warm at night is to bring a space heater into your bedroom. While space heaters are typically less efficient than your furnace, you could come out ahead if you turn the thermostat down for the rest of the house and just use a single space heater to keep your sleeping area warm. If you decide to try a space heater, make sure you follow all manufacturer safety instructions and don’t place it too close to anything that could pose a fire hazard or be damaged by the heat.