The eco house guide Green living room
This article, The eco house guide, was last updated on 20 August 2009 and is now out of date and held in our online archive for reference. Explore our latest Home & garden articles.
Create a living space that's both relaxing and green. We'll help you choose green living room electricals that consume less electricity or boast energy efficient features, and adopt simple green measures to keep heating costs and CO2 emissions down in your lounge.
You can keep the family entertained and environmentally friendly with these eco product ideas and green living room tips...
Energy-efficient TVs for a greener living room
When it comes to TV energy efficiency, LCD models are much more eco-friendly than plasma TVs – based on our test results, a 42-inch plasma TV typically uses 277 watts when switched on, compared to an 180 watt average for the 40-46-inch LCD TV category. That's 50% less energy than plasma televisions. Find out more in our comprehensive review of over 200 LCD and plasma TVs.
Which? rates every TV we test for power consumption. If you're looking to buy a new TV and want to make a greener choice, you can use our compare features and prices tool to find TVs that achieved a power rating of four stars or more.
Clever energy-saving features such as screen-blanking when listening to digital radio through your TV and ambient light sensors, which adjust the backlight of your television according to how light or dark the room is, can also help to reduce energy usage. Also look out for newer LCD TV models which use energy-efficient LED backlighting instead of 'always on' fluorescent backlights.
Green living rooms: energy saving light bulbs
Lighting accounts for approximately 15% of your electricity bill, and switching to energy-saving light bulbs in your living room – a room usually well used in the evenings – is a good way to save energy and cut CO2 emissions.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that one energy-saving light bulb, which can last up to 10 times longer than a standard bulb, can save you up to £6 a year in electricity for regularly used lights.
Under EU regulations, less efficient traditional light bulb varieties are being gradually phased out – so energy saving light bulbs will soon become the norm in all our homes.
If you want to make your living room greener by switching to energy saving light bulbs, you can find out which bulbs came out on top during our energy-saving light bulbs review. We also answer your concerns about energy saving light bulbs in our special guide.
Eco-friendly set-top boxes
Blu-ray players and digital set-top boxes have become staple products in most living rooms, and all need electricity to power them. For a greener living room, make sure you always switch off these gadgets when you're not using them. You may also want to consider energy efficiency when choosing a new product, as some gadgets use more energy than others.
Also look out for energy-saving options on digital boxes – the Sky+ box, for example, has an auto standby feature which automatically turns the box off when inactive at certain times of the day.
We've got more energy-cutting advice in our practical guide to using less electricity in your home.
Greener habits in your living room
Green your living room without spending a penny with these eco-friendly tips:
- Switch off standby It's an obvious one that you've probably heard before, but a great eco tip is to switch all your living appliances off at the plug rather than leaving on standby. According to the Energy Saving Trust, this could save you up to £37 per year.
- Close your curtains During the winter, keep your home cosy by closing the curtains to help block draughts from windows; open them during the day to let in natural light.
- Shut doors Keep living room doors shut during winter months to stop heat escaping from the room you want it in.