written by:
illustrated by:
January 1, 2009
Originally published in Beyond Green

Sleep on this: You probably spend more time in your bedroom than any other home zone, so it’s important to get it right.1 Reducing your resource consumption here requires a close look at how you use the space—–night and day.2 Your goal is to balance energy efficiency with flexibility of experience.

home zone sleeping zone

Fine-tune your window shades.3
Your shades should have the flexibility to provide all the privacy you need while allowing you to keep the lights off during the day. A flexible combination of opaque and translucent materials usually does the trick. In addition, keeping unwanted solar radiation from entering your space in the first place means lower cooling bills.

Get a good ceiling fan.
You get a lot of bang for your energy buck with an efficient ceiling fan. Install one with multiple speeds so that you can moderate air movement.4

Get the TV out.
What are you watching TV in bed for? Among other things, the bedroom should provide you with a calming foundation to support your hectic day. Police shoot-’em-ups and Flowbee infomercials have no place here. Unless watching late-night Animal Planet is instrumental in your decompression cycle, consider popping that thing off the wall and donating it to an affordable housing organization.

  1. Granted, you're asleep most of the time. But still.
  2. And season to season! Dress your bed like you'd dress yourself. If your region has four seasons, your bed should have four specific outfits. Property prepared, you can tweak the thermostat an additional few degrees in the extreme months and use natural ventilation in the swing months. Tangential idea: use your pets for heat. You feed them and collect their poop. Use them as living blankets. They owe you this much.
  3. You might need to chat with a design professional about this. There are many strategies for balancing privacy and daylight.
  4. Bonus feature: Fans make calm, sleep-inducing sounds.

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