Energy-saving tips for the living room

Your living room, sitting room or other living space is a great place to start reducing your energy bills. Here are our top ten tips to keep your living spaces cosy.

  • Only turn on the lights when you need them. Consider swapping your ageing light bulbs for energy saving light bulbs; on average, this could save you around £4 a year for each bulb you use. It can really add up!
  • Don't leave things on standby. This could save between £55 - £95 per year on electricity bills (note: this applies to the whole house and not just the living room). Get into the habit of turning off the television at the socket or on the set, and not leaving it on standby. (Standby is the mode in which an appliance is neither switched off, nor is in full-on mode. In your living room, this could be used to describe your DVD player which might sit idle displaying the time when you are not using it to play DVDs.)
  • Unplug or switch off. Make sure items that are not in use are unplugged or switched off at the wall (when was the last time you used your video recorder?!). If you are going on holiday, switch off your television and set-top box at the plug.
  • Consider investing in an intelligent mains controller so that all the equipment linked to your TV (video recorder, DVD player, games controllers etc) are automatically switched off whenever the TV is turned off. If you don't want to purchase a controller, clear a space around your plug sockets to make it easier to turn items off at the mains, or invest in an individually switched extension lead.
  • Use separate plugs. Put your digital recorder on a separate plug socket so you can turn off everything else at the mains but keep your series link recordings.
  • Replacing your old TVs or other electrical equipment? Dispose of it in a way that means it can be recycled. When buying new electrical appliances, retailers are obliged to either take back the old equipment or tell you where you can recycle it. Find out where to recycle electrical equipment locally by ringing the council, or find your local recycling centre on-line.
  • Using your television to access digital radio? It's more energy efficient to opt for a blank screen. Better still, get a digital radio instead.
  • Check your settings. Make sure the brightness setting on your TV is suitable for your room. The brighter the TV is set, the more energy it uses. The factory settings on TVs are often too bright for home use.
  • When it gets dark, draw the curtains at dusk to keep the heat in. Close internal doors to keep the heat in the rooms you are in and turn radiators off in unused rooms. Consider putting on an extra layer of clothing before turning up the heating.

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