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​The air outside is starting to cool and the thermostats inside are starting to go up. As we get closer to winter, staying inside is becoming a much more attractive option but it can be using a lot more energy. Fortunately, just like our articles on how to save energy in the kitchen or laundry room, we've put together a helpful list of ways to keep your living room at peak energy efficiency.

Use a power bar for your entertainment electronics

Even when put in standby mode, TVs, gaming systems, PVRs, audio receivers and sound bars all still use power. By plugging them all into a single power bar–or even better–a smart power bar, you can cut off the power to these devices all at once (and schedule it to a timer or schedule if you'd like). These devices are often used all together so turning them all on or off at the same time doesn't make things any more complicated but does save energy.

Keep curtains and furniture away from fans, ducts, and registers

Not only can these things be a fire hazard, but blocking fans, ducts, or registers also block cool or hot air depending on the season. These devices are meant to work together to circulate air within your home and if one part of that path is blocked, your furnace or A/C will have to work harder to heat or cool your home. In winter months, it's recommended to keep curtains, drapes, or shades open during the day to let the sunshine and warmth in. For summer months, close them at night or peak heat during the afternoons to prevent the sun from heating up your space too much.

Keep TVs, lamps, or other electrical devices away from thermostats

All electrical devices give off heat no matter how small. It may not seem like much but depending on how close they are to the thermostat, the thermostat might be sensing the wrong source of heat. Instead of it registering your room's temperature, it could be interfered with by another device and shut your furnace off too soon. Make sure any electrical devices or lamps are not next to your thermostat and keep the space around it clear so it can run as efficiently as possible.

Swap out old lightbulbs for energy efficient LEDs

If you still haven't gotten around to replacing old incandescent bulbs, now is the time. Switching to LED bulbs means you will not only save energy in the long run but also the bulbs last so much longer that you won't have to worry about replacing them anytime soon. And you can take the energy efficiency even further by using smart bulbs or dimmer switches to adjust the amount of light you need and set it to a schedule.

Keep fans and heaters clean

In the summer, our heaters build up dust and, in the winter, the same happens to fans. Then when it comes time to finally use them, they aren't running as optimally as they could or should. Give your fans and heaters a vacuum or wipe before the season starts so when you turn them on you aren't blowing dust around the house or heating it up.

Use a blanket

The easiest and cheapest option on the list. In those cold months, instead of running to the thermostat, you can toss on a sweater or a cozy blanket. Extra layers really do help and are a Hygge (IYKYK) and incredibly energy efficient way to get through winter.

For more great energy saving tips you can follow us on Facebook and Instagram or read more blogs here. And if you're preparing for winter, we've put together a handy checklist here.


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