Since a family's living area is a high-traffic, high-volume space that is probably used more than any other room in the house, next to the kitchen, it's easy to waste money while enjoying the amenities.
If you're in the market for a new TV, take the time to evaluate the cost difference between a plasma and LCD screen. Plasma's take much more power to operate and those energy costs are nearly 6 times what it costs to run an LCD screen. Sure, LCD screens are a bit more expensive, but multiply approximately $42 savings a year by the number of years you estimate having a TV and see if that outweighs the additional cost of purchasing an LCD over a plasma screen. If it does, spend pennies now and save dollars later.
You can also save money by unplugging those unused electronics, lamps and appliances in the living room. Just because they aren't turned on doesn't mean they aren't sucking out power. For those items, group them together on a power strip so it's easy to turn them all off with one click of a button. Of course, many of us rely on our digital cable boxes and DVR's to continuously download data so we can't unplug those, but a smart power strip will allow you to completely turn off your tv while leaving the recording device plugged in.
When you're shopping for new electronics, make sure to look at the Energy Star rated selection. These items will save anywhere from 6-75% of required energy. If you just can't live without that plasma tv, there is even an Energy Star version.
Even though this isnt' necessarily helping your electric bill, it is helping your wallet, and most importantly our environment. Transition your remote control, video game system and any other battery-required device to rechargeable batteries. They are more expensive than disposable batteries, but for every single rechargeable you use, you save 500 batteries from entering our waste system.
Finally, since you're in your living room so much, your lights are probably constantly on and sucking out power like no tomorrow. Change out your incandescent bulbs for compact florescant ones.
You always see those ads, Work from home, Make money from your living room, Your career from your couch... Well, these tips aren't one of those gimmicks. Seriously, put more cash in your pocket from living area. All it takes is a few small changes.
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