Here are our 3 tips for zapping energy waste (and saving yourself a few dollars).
1. Close the Curtains, Drapes, and/or Blinds
Your furnace and air conditioner make up a good portion of your energy bill. Anything you can do to cut down on their use will save energy. In the bedroom, the windows are one of the biggest sources of heat loss and gain. In the summer, close your window coverings when your bedroom gets full sun to keep heat and light out. During the winter, keep them closed when it’s coldest, which is usually the morning and evening, to prevent heat loss.
Blackout curtains, heavy drapes, and blinds can also help keep light out at night. Too much light can mess with your sleep hormones so it doesn’t belong in your room at night anyway.
If the thought of a dark bedroom doesn’t appeal to you, try two layers of curtains. An inner sheer layer that lets light in along with an outer heat and light blocking layer for temperature control.
2. Minimize Your Cords
The minimalist movement may or may not have taken hold at your house, but that doesn’t mean it can’t help cut down on energy use. One of the simplest ways to reduce your energy use is to turn off all lights and electronic devices when you’re not in the room.
However, you’re less likely to do it if you have to walk around and unplug everything separately. Try using extension cords to attach everything from your lamps and radio to your TV and iPad charger to one power strip. When you leave the room, you only have to turn off or unplug one cord.
Your mattress and bedding play a big role in your energy use. Your body temperature drops at night and you need to be able to maintain that temperature to sleep comfortably. If you’re getting too hot or cold, you’re more likely to adjust your thermostat, which uses energy.
The right mattress and bedding can help keep you cozy. Some mattresses have better breathability than others. In general, innerspring and hybrid models allow more air circulation, which keep you cooler. Foam, on the other hand, typically keeps heat close to the body. For climates that experience a wide temperature range, a hybrid mattress provides the best of both worlds.
Bedding can also make a difference to your thermostat use. Natural fibers that create a loose weave like cotton and linen have better airflow, keeping you cooler. Flannel, cotton sateen weave, and synthetic fabrics keep you warmer in cold weather.
Though none these changes are drastic, they will be reflected on your energy bill. Just think, you can rest easier knowing you’re not sucking power from our environment's precious resources while you sleep.
Managing Editor | SleepHelp.org
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