We’ve just moved our bedroom into the new loft space we had added to our house and with the new Velux windows and French doors, as well as improved insulation, we’ve noticed a huge difference in the temperature management of our house this summer and we’re hoping that will carry through into the colder months. It’s made us really conscious of our energy usage and while we will be saying no thank you to getting a smart meter, we will be trying to implement small, sensible measures to cut down on our energy usage.
Here are some practical tips to reduce your energy use in both summer and winter.
We spend around one-third of our life in bed and it can be easy to forget about energy conservation in a room where we don’t spend very much of our time awake. However, there are plenty of things which we can do to be more eco-friendly and mindful of energy use while we sleep.
Check Seals Around Windows and Doors
Significant heat loss can happen around windows and doors, so be sure to give the seals a thorough check once every few months. Seal any draughts you notice when the weather changes.
Start Temperature Management Early
Start thinking about temperature management before the temperatures get too extreme in your bedroom. During the height of summer you can block out light and heat with blackout curtains, heavy drapes, or blinds. In the depths of winter, keep the curtains closed when it’s particularly cold outside to prevent heat loss.
Unplug and Consolidate Your Electronics
Even though you’re not using your electronics, they may be in standby mode which still uses power. It is good to keep your bedroom as device-free as possible (avoid anything labelled as “SMART” where possible), but for everything else, try plugging all your electronic devices, including lamps and speakers, into a single power strip and when they’re not in use, turn the power strip off. It is a lot easier to flip one switch than it is to walk around the room unplugging every device. You’ll be amazed at how much these tips will reduce your power bill.
Open the Windows and Doors
This tip’s really only feasible during the summer and in hot climates, but it can cut down on your air conditioner use. When it is possible and safe to do so, open your windows (or sliding doors) to let the cool evening breeze move through your house. Not only has fresh air been shown to help you sleep better, it brings the temperature down naturally without the use of your air conditioner.
Adjust Your Bed for the Season
Investing in a good quality mattress and bedding made out of natural materials (I like Green Fibres in Devon, but look for a local source near you) can make you much more comfortable – in many ways – while you sleep. There are plenty of organic and environmentally-friendly mattress options on the market. You also can read my article on choosing the right natural mattress here. Try to choose one that works with your climate to provide good temperature regulation. For example, plant-based memory foam mattresses usually keep heat and moisture against the body so, in general, they’re warmer. Innersprings and hybrids tend to allow more airflow and, therefore, are cooler. You can use your bedding to your advantage as well, as natural fabrics like linen and cotton have good breathability for summer, while warm, soft flannel bedding will help contain heat in the winter. A wool blanket thrown overtop the duvet will help trap the heat and keep you cosy and toasty warm on cool autumn and winter nights too.
Install a Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans may use electricity, but less than an air conditioner. They can be used in a couple different ways to help manage the temperature in your bedroom. Most of the time, the blades pull air up from the ground where it’s cooler. In this case, they keep the cool air circulating through the room. If your windows are open, they can also help pull air into the room. But, in cooler months, you can switch the direction of the blades, which will circulate warm air back to the ground. While you don’t want to have your fan on high in the winter, gently and slowly blowing warm air to the ground can heat your room up faster. (My family does this and I can promise, it really does work!)
With lights off and curtains closed, you’re ready to cut your energy use. Other changes may require a little more time to get used to, but they’re worth it to lower your carbon footprint and reduce your energy bills.
What are your tips for saving energy in your home?