Turn Your Living Room Green | Energy-Saving Tips
3 Energy-Saving Tips to Try This St. Patrick’s Day
Your living room is arguably the most special place in your home. It’s the place where everyone gathers to watch television shows and movies, to battle it out in board games or video games, to listen to music over the stereo, and to simply relax after a long day. Because you spend so much of your free time in your living room, why not make it more energy efficient? When you commit to following energy efficient practices at home, you’ll not only help the environment, you’ll help your bank account too. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, a day devoted to all things green, turn your living room green too!
Follow these simple tips on improving your living room’s efficiency:
1. Switch to ENERGY STAR Electronics
Do you remember what your television from your childhood looked like? For starters, your household probably had only one, and it certainly wasn’t in anyone’s bedroom. For years, most of us relied on heavy, box-like systems to entertain us. The televisions of today are significantly larger and their resolutions much clearer. While they’re bigger and better than ever, they’re also using more energy. ENERGY STAR televisions are on average 25 percent more efficient than other models.
In addition to televisions, most households use cable systems, DVRs, Blue-ray players and gaming systems for entertainment. Depending on which systems you’re using, it can have a negative impact on your utility bill. If every TV, DVD player and home theater system purchased in the U.S. had the ENERGY STAR label, we would cut green house gas emissions by two billion pounds, which is equal to the emissions from more than 175,000 cars.
ENERGY STAR offers the following electronics:
- Audio/Video Equipment (Blue-ray & DVD players, MP3 speaker docks, etc.)
- Set-Top Boxes (for cable and internet)
2. Upgrade to Energy Efficient Lights
Halogen incandescent lights , compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), or light emitting diodes (LEDs) use 25 to 80 percent less energy and last three to 25 times longer than their traditional counterpart – the incandescent.
Let us demonstrate exactly how inefficient incandescent light bulbs are:
- A CFL bulb costs between two and three dollars, but lasts for 10,000 hours and uses only 27 watts, as opposed to a 100-watt incandescent bulb, which costs 50 cents. but lasts around 1,000 hours.
- To get the same amount of power as one CFL bulb, you would need 10 incandescent bulbs.
- Taking the three dollar purchase price of a CFL into account, you will spend around $25 to operate it. To get the same results with an incandescent, it would cost you $80.
In 2012, the U.S. banned any further sales of incandescent bulbs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, if you were to switch out the five most frequently used light bulbs in your house with energy efficient ones, you would save $75 every year.
3. Turn off Power to Unused Electronics
The average household wastes $100 every year on electronics that are plugged in, but not in use. By making the point to power standby devices off, you will save around $15 a year, given that your living room accounts for 15 percent of your bill.
Commit to unplugging devices that you rarely use. If you keep your DVD player plugged in but can’t remember the last time you actually used it, unplug it. You can make it easier on yourself by using a power strip. Then you’ll be able to power all devices off at the same time.
Some devices, like your set-top box or DVR, can’t be turned off, as that would disrupt data-gathering. You can, however, use a smart power strip to turn your TV off while leaving your DVR plugged in.
For more tips and tricks on saving money and reducing energy usage, schedule an appointment with one of our licensed, trained electricians! We can help pinpoint vulnerable areas in your home where you’re losing energy. We can also upgrade your inefficient ceiling fans, lighting, thermostat and more!
Check out these resources for additional energy-saving tips:
- U.S. Department of Energy’s “Spring and Summer Energy-Saving Tips”
- Huffington Post’s “7 Ways to Make Your Living Room More Energy Efficient and Cozier”
- Better Homes & Garden’s “24 Tips for Energy-Efficient Homes”
- Good Housekeeping’s “Top 10 Energy-Saving Tips”
Hickerson Electrical is your source for all home electrical services. We’re ready and willing to deliver top-quality service to your home at a moment’s notice. So call today at (703) 594-3913.