Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Top 5 Energy Wasters In your Children's Bedroom

Your children's bedroom is the centre of their world and a place you work hard to make safe for them. It can also be a place where a lot of energy gets used up: children have a huge variety of energy-hungry gadgets available to them, and if they aren't carefully watched, a lot of this energy can simply go to waste. However, there are things you can do to make sure your kids' bedroom is energy-efficient.

Turn the Lights Off
Children aren't always good about turning the lights off when they leave a room – once they get the idea to go somewhere else, they're usually too impatient to switch off before they go. Lights left on when not in use don't use much energy individually, but over the long run they can add significantly to your household's energy bills. Although most parents are used to switching off their children's lights constantly, this isn't the most effective strategy. Consider adding some kind of eye-catching sign or other reminder near the switch so that kids remember to turn off the lights.

Consoles and Gadgets
Many kids have game consoles or other electronic devices in their bedrooms. Stereos, televisions and consoles aren't off even when they're switched off; they enter a “standby” mode which allows them to be turned back on quickly. However, even when in standby, these devices use up a lot of electricity. Most of the time that they are in standby, these devices aren't about to be turned on – they use up energy even when you and your children aren't home. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that a household can save £50 to £90 a year just by turning off appliances with a standby mode and only switching them back on when they're going to be used.

Upgrade Lights
Even if your kids are turning off the lights when they're not in use, old-fashioned incandescent bulbs are a major energy consumer. If you haven't already, replace all the light bulbs in your children's bedroom with compact fluorescent bulbs or LEDs. These energy-efficient bulbs are more expensive individually, but they use much less energy and last longer, making them far less costly over the long run than traditional bulbs. Compact fluorescents can take a short time to warm up, making them better for lights that will be in use long-term, while LEDs work well for lights that need to be switched on and off quickly, such as closet lights.

Instil Good Heating Habits
Good heating habits will help your children save energy in their own homes when they're grown up, so it's important to start teaching them early. If children complain that they're cold – unless it's actually cold – remind them to put on a jumper or a warm pair of socks rather than turning the heat up. Make sure that warm clothes are hung or stored prominently in your kids' room during the winter months. Lowering your thermostat by even one degree can save up to £60 per year.

Provide Tech Support
Desktop and laptop computers are an increasingly important part of children's lives, but they don't always know how to use them for maximum energy efficiency. Turning off computers isn't always possible, especially when children are using them for important tasks such as schoolwork. Adjusting the power settings on computers and monitors can help save the energy they use. Make sure that these devices are set to go into sleep mode or dim their displays when not in use. Energy-efficient eco-chargers can help reduce the power used by mobile phones, tablets and similar devices by cutting off the power once the device is fully charged.

A modern child's room is filled with technological devices, but these aren't the only things that use up energy. Simply teaching your kids good habits, can help reducing electricity prices significantly. These good habits will not only help keep your household's energy consumption down but stand your children in good stead when they eventually have to manage energy in their own homes.

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