With the start of the new school year, many parents are turning that spare room or den into a study room for their kids. Here are some tips on how to make it energy efficient so you can maximize savings, and create a comfortable study atmosphere for your kids:
- Select ENERGY STAR® qualified computers and printers; they use anywhere from 30-65 percent less energy.
- ENERGY STAR power management features put computers into a low power “sleep mode” after a designated period of inactivity to cut down on energy usage.
- Turn off the monitor if you’re not going to use the desktop computer for more than 20 minutes.
- Turn off both the CPU and monitor if you’re not going to use your computer for more than 2 hours.
- Use a power strip that can be turned off (or turns off automatically) for all electronics (computers, audio and video equipment, etc.).
- Did you know that the transformer in the AC adapter draws power continuously, even when the laptop is not plugged into the adapter?
- Many appliances (i.e., DVD players, TVs, stereos, computers) will still draw power when they are switched off unless they’re unplugged or using a power strip.
- Install ENERGY STAR certified lighting fixtures that are highly efficient (and have lower greenhouse gas emissions) to provide your kids with the lighting they need to study properly.
- ENERGY STAR lighting uses ¼ of the energy of traditional lighting and produces light that lasts between 10,000-50,000 hours (about 7-22 years of regular use).
- For electrical gadgets that need batteries such as cordless phones or digital cameras, use rechargeable alternatives.Rechargeable batteries are more cost-effective and better for the environment.
- If you’re putting a cordless phone in the study room, choose one that is ENERGY STAR qualified. They’re more efficient and use half the energy of standard units through improved energy performance features such as switch-mode power supplies and “smart” chargers.
- If the room has windows, you should:
- Seal them properly to prevent air leakages, which can make the room uncomfortable to be in while driving up energy costs.
- Replace old ones with newer ENERGY STAR qualified windows to lower household energy bills by anywhere from 7-15 percent.
- On warmer days, draw the blinds or curtains to prevent the room from becoming too warm – it’s hard to study in a room that’s too hot! Also keep in mind that your air conditioning will have to work harder, which means higher costs.
And remember, an energy efficient study room also works well as an energy efficient home office!
This content was originally published by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) here. This content has been republished with the permission of RESNET. RESNET is the independent, national nonprofit organization that homeowners trust to improve home energy efficiency and realize substantial savings on their utility bills. RESNET’s industry-leading standards are recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among others.