Is Your Living Room Leaving No Room For Saving?

Frugality at Home: Part 2 – The Living Room


The living room is one of the most used rooms in the home. It doesn’t have as many energy draining appliances as the kitchen, BUT you’d be surprised at how much energy (and money) is leaking out unnecessarily every day! Try out these simple adjustments (that won’t interrupt your lifestyle) and compare your energy bills to see how much you can save.

Airs coming in, dollars are going out

Whether it’s the heater on in winter or the air conditioning on in summer, losing your desired temperature can be prevented by some cheap draught excluders for your doors. Doing this across the board could cut your energy bill by 10%, giving you a possible saving of up to $100 a year.

More temperature control = more money control

Install solar screens, or mesh-like window screens, or window films. Solar screens are said to cut 90% of hot sun rays, which could save up to 30% on your energy bill. Window screens improve insulation whilst controlling the amount of light coming in. These types of screens could cut heat loss through your window by up to 50%.

Air conditioning – 5 conditions for saving

The air conditioner is a major drain on your electricity budget, yet essential for many homes in summer. It could account for up to 60-70% of your summer electric bill. Without having to compromise on your use or your comfort, follow a few tips to lower the cost.

  1. Change the temperature by just one notch higher, and you will barely notice the difference, yet will decrease your energy by 3-4%.
  2. If you haven’t got them already, use fans to help distribute the air – when it’s hot fans should spin counter clockwise to push hot air up, when cold they should spin clockwise to trap heat inside.
  3. Using your air conditioning all day, even when you are not in, uses 317% more electricity than turning it on when you get in. Utilise the timing feature if your unit has one.
  4. Clean your filter – if it is dirty it will have to work harder and use more electricity. Make sure there is no debris blocking up the condenser unit as well.
  5. Keep the AC unit level so condensation drains properly – the unit won’t have to work as hard.
One on/off switch

Put all your electronics on one power strip – and turn that off at night all at once. Electronics account for 17% of power use, such as games consoles, PC, plasma TV, etc. A smart power strip knows when to turn everything off - this could save you 5-10% off your energy bill.

Overcharging – pun intended!

Use a timer when charging gadgets – often your phone or laptop is left on for hours and energy is wasted charging it unnecessarily. Purchase a Conserve Valet 4 USB charger which automatically turns off when items are charged and cuts down standby electricity.

General checks worth making
  • Check for household leaks – to make sure air isn’t escaping through openings such as fireplace dampers, doors and windows. These little leaks are easy and inexpensive to block up with sealant.
  • Replace standard bulbs with CFLs - Make sure you’re using the appropriate CFL bulb for your light fixture, as they come in various sizes and types for different lighting needs. You could save $30 – $80 per bulb per year.
  • Have your heating system inspected regularly – especially if it’s natural gas. A $50-100 annual tune-up can help reduce your heating costs by up to five percent, by making it more efficient.

Live frugally in your living room. You could easily half your energy usage from this simple steps. Next room to cover, the bathroom.