Tips for the Bedroom

Bright Ideas for the Bedroom
5 minute read

Air conditioner: Cool ways to keep cooling costs down

Air conditioners can account for 40% to 50% of your total household consumption.  Keeping them in check and with the right technology and practices can significantly cut your cooling costs.

Consider Inverter Technology. Inverter air conditioners are more efficient versus conventional units.  Inverter Technology’s optimum control of motor operation results in eliminating the consumption of excessive electricity.  Based on Power Lab tests, realize savings of 25% to 64% on energy costs using inverters – for the same or even better comfort.

Choose the right one. With the right unit size, your air conditioner will operate properly for peak efficiency and require low maintenance. First, determine the floor area (in square meters) of your room. Cooling capacity is equal to the size of the room (m2) x 500 kJ/hr - m2. Substitute the computed floor area as the size of the room and then multiply this value by the constant 500kJ/hr - m2. The resulting value is the estimated cooling capacity of the air conditioner that you need to install. Be sure to look for a unit with matching cooling capacity as shown on the Energy Guide. If the matching cooling capacity is not available, choose the one with the next higher value. When buying a new air conditioner, look for the Energy Guide (yellow label) attached to the unit and check the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). As a general rule for units with the same cooling capacity, a higher EER means a more efficient unit and a lower operating cost.

Keep your air conditioner in a cool place. A unit operating in the shade uses 10 percent less electricity than when it’s in direct sunlight. Provide shade for your aircon but be sure not to block the airflow. Don't place lamps, television and other items, which can be a source of heat near your unit. The thermostat senses the heat given off by these items, causing your unit to run longer than necessary.

Set the thermostat at the highest most comfortable level. A comfortable room temperature setting is about 24 or 25 degrees Celsius. Setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when turning your unit on will not help cool your room any faster. Based on Meralco Power Lab tests on a 1.0 window-type aircon at mid (25°C) vs high (18°C) setting for 8hrs/night use, save P991 a month when you switch to mid setting.

Set fan speed appropriately. As a general rule, set the fan speed on high. On very humid days, set the fan speed on low for more comfort. This will cool your room better and will help remove moisture from the air because of slower air movement through the cooling equipment.

Regularly check and clean your air conditioner. Check the filter often by holding it up against the light - if you can't see through it, it's time to clean or replace the filter.  A dirty filter blocks normal airflow and significantly reduces its efficiency. A 1.0 window-type aircon with a clean filter at mid setting for 8hrs/night use will cost P334 less per month to use than one with an unclean filter. 


Computer: A proactive energy-saving approach

Turn down brightness. Lowering the brightness of your computer monitor will save on energy.  Set the brightness down to the lowest comfortable level or down to 50%.

Forget about screensavers. Screensavers do not save energy.  Get 90% savings when you turn your computers to sleep mode rather than screensaver mode.  But it is still best to turn off your computer instead of running screensavers to completely save on energy.  It might not make sense to turn off your computer when going on a short break but it will definitely make sense for longer breaks.

Use a laptop if available. Most desktop computers consume around 70 to 200 watts while laptops would consume between 15 to 60 watts. That’s 70% to 80% difference and savings.


Lights: Turning better practices on

Lighting can account for 20% to 30% of your electrical bill. Some of the brightest ways to save on lighting costs are also the simplest.

Switch to LEDs. Replace incandescent bulbs with LED lights (Light-Emitting Diodes). Although they cost more than incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), you save 87% on energy costs vs. incandescent bulbs and 50% vs. CFLs.  LEDs also last 5 to 10 times longer. 

Turn the lights off when not in use. Also, maximize the use of natural light whenever possible. It is the best source of light and will help you save on energy. Place reading tables near windows and put skylights in other working areas.

Choose the right kind of lighting. Use lamps that provide direct lighting over desks, beds, and other work areas. This saves you more energy compared to the higher wattage lighting needed to illuminate the whole room. Use low wattage light bulbs in areas that do not need strong lighting such as hallways, foyers and doorways.

Keep lights clean. Clean lighting fixtures regularly, as dirt will lessen illumination by as much as 50%. One can work more effectively under good lighting which lessens the hours of operation of lamps. In contrast, poor lighting will make someone work longer, increasing electrical consumption.