From Dean Dowd on January 08, 2009 in Green Remodeling
In energy consumption and conservation, every little thing matters. Every home will have its holes, no matter how small or invisible, that allow heat to be lost to that invading winter chill. And as sure as there are some strange, seemingly insignificant ways that energy is lost, there are also some creative ways to maximize energy conservation. Take, for instance, arranging your furniture to save energy. It may seem like an oddball approach, but when you set your mind on it you find it has very logical implications.
Much of the heat generated by electric appliances—computer, television, stereo—can be lost through the wall. So getting these appliances, including lamps, away from exterior walls will utilize the heat they produce.
Avoid succumbing to draft zones by arranging seating away from windows and doors, two notoriously weak spots for energy loss. Seating in these areas causes two problems: One, it is colder here than in other areas and, two, that may cause you to run the heating system harder than necessary because it feels cold in just one zone.
The Power of Insulation
Just about any household material has some insulation value and you can use this to your benefit at home. Tall bookcases full of books, artwork, or tapestries placed or hung on exterior walls will help deter heat from exiting your house and slow the entrance of cold winter air.
Keep Ducts and Vents Clear
Be careful not to place the couch, bed, or other furniture over a heating vent. This will slow the flow of heat to the room, forcing the heater to work double time. The furniture will also absorb some of the heat itself.
Keep Blinds Drawn
While there are definite health and well-being benefits to letting natural light and solar heat into your home, on blustery, sunless days keeping the blinds or curtains shut will actually help hold some heat inside your home.
As you can see, any material will obstruct the flow of air in some way, however minimal. While these tactics will in no way keep your house warm on their own, they’ll all add up to some noticeable energy savings and a more comfortable home. And all furniture aside, be sure to keep energy upgrades in mind during your next remodel (make your bookcase’s job a little easier!).