Living Room Eco-Tips
Select the icons to get remodeling tips for each area of the room.
Living Room Wall
- Consider clay plaster as an alternative to paint.
- Choose low-toxic, low-VOC or Zero VOC paints.
- Consider lighter-colored paints to reduce artificial lighting needs.
Living Room Lighting
- Replace all incandescent light bulbs with LEDs or CFLs.
- Install ENERGY STAR labeled light fixtures.
- Utilize natural daylight through windows instead of electrical lighting as much as possible by not keeping windows clear of furniture or blinds.
- If remodeling, consider window placement and size to optimize your daylighting potential.
- Install dimmers to save energy and allow you to change the amount of light to suit your needs and extend the life of the light bulb. Be sure the light bulbs are compatible with dimmer switches.
Carbon monoxide detector
- Check your carbon monoxide (CO) batteries to ensure they are working.
- Replace your CO detector every three to five years.
- Install a CO detector near your wood or gas-burning stove or fireplace.
- Turn off fans when not in the room; fans cool people, not rooms.
- Look for ENERGY STAR labeled models, which meet criteria for efficient motor and controls, lighting (when installed), 30-year motor warranty, and efficient movement of air.
- In the winter, utilize the fan’s reverse mode. This produces an updraft that forces the warm air near the ceiling down into the living space.
- Install LED or CFL bulbs if your ceiling fan also contains a light fixture.
- Eliminate plug loads (the fastest growing segment of residential energy use) by placing electronics on a power strip and turning off when not in use.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR label when purchasing home electronics.
- Seal any holes with caulk or spray foam where TV/cable wires and vents enter or exit home.
- Use rechargeable batteries for products like cordless phones and digital cameras.
Living Room Flooring
- Choose wood, natural linoleum or cork flooring as the best indoor air quality choices.
- Look for recycled-content flooring products.
- If considering carpet, look for carpet, padding and adhesives that are labeled as emitting less volatile organic compounds.
- Choose low-pile carpet made with natural fibers such as wool or jute, and consider carpet tiles.
- Change to an EPA certified wood stove, a wood pellet stove or a high-efficiency gas fireplace.
- Install tight-fitting glass doors on a wood stove.
- Purchase only sealed combustion or direct vent gas fireplaces.
- Improve heating efficiency with an integrated blower.
- If you decide to keep a wood-burning fireplace or stove, take measures to improve both indoor and outdoor air quality.
Ductless Heat Pump
- Consider replacing electric baseboard, electric furnace and electric wall heaters with ductless heat pumps, which are 2-3 times as efficient.
- Check with your utility for rebates on ductless heat pump units and installation – most provide substantial rebates.
- Pick a thermostat that fits your lifestyle; 7-day programmable or manual, and use the features to match your schedule.
- Consider a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust the temperature of your home when you’re away or sleeping.
- Research new “smart” models that can connect with phones for greater control.
- Learn how to “set back” your thermostat (unless you have a heat pump).