Creating an Energy Efficient Bedroom
By Javier Saucedo, emPower Central Coast Energy Coach
There are few better feelings than jumping into bed and burrowing into the blankets at the end of a long day. Our bedrooms are special spaces where we can relax and renew. A new coat of paint or curtains from time to time keeps the look fresh, but when you’re ready for bigger changes, it’s a great time to focus on some of the things you may not be able to see. There are home energy efficiency issues that could be keeping you from that rest and relaxation you need – and taking a toll on the environment, indoors and out! For example, if you’re feeling uneven temperatures between bedrooms in your home, that’s a sure sign of heat regulation issues.
The county-run emPower Central Coast program works with local homeowners to fix these comfort issues, which also represent a huge drain on resources, drive up utility bills and impact indoor air quality and the environment. If you’re ready to upgrade your bedroom, consider these measures to make a difference that goes well beyond a colorful comforter.
Have your ducts inspected. This mostly unseen network of tubes delivers air from your furnace or central air system to your bedroom. But if one of your rooms has more comfortable temperatures than the others, you could have an unbalanced system or damaged ducts that are releasing that treated air into your attic, wasting hundreds of dollars a year. Your system could also be in need of wider tubes or insulation. Schedule a free home consultation with an emPower Energy Coach to take a look, as crawling around your attic on your own could cause additional damage. The average leakage for older systems in the area is about 30 percent.
Keep the bad stuff out. The outside elements could be invading your bedroom through gaps and cracks in your home, such as window trims, light fixtures and outlets. These crevices may be small and hard to notice, but they add up, letting in heat, cold, dust and pollen. Fight back by sealing the obvious ones with caulk. Talk to an emPower Energy Coach about a whole home air seal.
Insulation: The best blanket of all is for your home. When coupled with proper air sealing, insulation keeps hot air from flowing inside in summer and spilling out in winter, leaving you nice and comfy in your special space. A common source of heat is your attic, so you’ll want a proper air seal layer and insulation separating you from it. Still feeling drafty or too hot? Your exterior walls could be in need of insulation as well. For existing homes, we recommend blown in insulation for the attic and those hard to reach areas.
Downsize on electricity. Try switching energy efficient LED bulbs into your bedside lamp, ceiling and wall lights. LEDs use far less energy than the standard bedroom lighting fixtures, which release about 90% of their energy as heat. For recessed lighting, try out an LED retrofit kit to further reduce energy use as well as improve the room’s air seal. Space heaters and electric blankets can also amount to significant drains on both your energy and wallet.
Get the ball rolling by visiting www.empowersbc.org today to schedule a free consultation with an emPower Energy Coach. We can even connect you with qualified local contractors., utility rebates and low-interest unsecured financing. And take a look at facebook.com/emPowerCenCoast/ for tips throughout the month.