The living room or family room is a favorite hangout for most people. These are also rooms where you can easily save energy with a few minor changes.
- Use draft guards at the bottom of doors that open into areas that are not air-conditioned or heated.
- Keep heating registers and air vents clear of obstacles and make sure you clean or replace furnace filters regularly.
- Take advantage of daylight by using light-colored, loose-weave curtains on your windows to allow daylight to penetrate the room while preserving privacy. Also, decorate with lighter colors that reflect daylight.
- On sunny days, open south facing drapes and let the sun in, a natural source of heat. If you have large windows that don't receive direct sun, keep the drapes closed.
- Close your drapes and blinds during the night.
- Turn off the lights you're not using, or consider installing timers, photocells, or occupancy sensors to reduce the amount of time your lights are on.
- Consider three-way lamps; they make it easier to keep lighting levels low when brighter light is not necessary.
- Consider using 4-watt mini fluorescent or electro-luminescent night lights. Both lights are much more efficient than their incandescent counterparts. The luminescent lights are cool to the touch.
- Use compact fluorescent light (CFLs) bulbs in all the portable table and floor lamps. Consider carefully the size and fit of these systems when you select them. Some home fixtures may not accommodate some of the larger CFLs.