While there are fewer appliances in the average bedroom than in a kitchen, you can still find opportunities to save energy here. For starters, let’s take a look at the walls in the room to see how well it is keeping the outside air on the outside. The area where most of your heating and cooling is lost is where the windows meet the framing. Your windows should be at least double pane and the jam should be well-insulated to further increase the efficiency of the windows.
One area that can rob your home of heat is your window treatments. Mini-blinds for example, do not provide the insulation benefits of curtains. Ideally, your curtains will have two parts with the outside part that faces the window being lightweight and white in color. The inside facing fabric should be thicker and preferably neutral in color. This will allow the curtains to work as an insulating barrier separating your bedroom from the outside world.
In the winter months, as the temperature cools down, water condenses and the humidity levels decrease. As a result, many people make use of humidifiers in their bedroom. The efficiency of these devices has improved greatly over the last few years, so look for an energy star approved humidifier to save energy. Likewise, in the hot humid months of the summer, you may use a dehumidifier. Keep in mind that the design of a dehumidifier is basically the same as a window type air conditioner, which are notorious for wasting electricity, but again more recent models are more efficient.
Some people swear by their water-beds. But you should know that a waterbed consumes between 500 and 2000 kWh/year, depending on where you live and how big a bed you have. Note that this is comparable to a new refrigerator. You can decrease the energy consumption substantially, perhaps as much as half, by using a foam mattress pad. Of course, going with a regular bed is a much greener option.
Do you enjoy reading a book in bed before turning out the light? Let’s consider the lighting in your bedroom. The following chart shows that standard incandescent bulbs or even halogen lighting are far less efficient than compact fluorescents. In fact, if you want to make one simple change towards a greener home right now, swapping every incandescent bulb in your house would be a great place to start.
Other appliances in your bedroom typically consume relatively small amounts of electricity. In each of those cases, take a look at whether they need to be on at all times, like an alarm clock, or whether unplugging an “always on” device like a cell phone charger will allow you to save electricity.