When I was growing up my mother rearranged the living room furniture every spring and fall. The focus during the summer was the view out of the big bay windows. In the winter, the focus was inward for entertaining visitors. I thought this strange because we had more visitors in the summer.
From an energy point of view, there a few things to keep in mind when the urge to rearrange the furniture strikes home.
Insulate the walls with books
In our big house up North in Michigan, we had tall bookcases, filled to overflowing, between the windows on some exterior walls. Books and magazines do add heat flow resistance. A bookcase placed against an outside wall will help your energy bill both during the heating and air conditioning seasons.
My wife, the quilter, insulates our walls with her fabric stash. Read about it at this link.INSULATING A HOME WITH BOOKS, MAGAZINES AND FABRIC
Avoid drafts where you sit
It is good to place your couch and chairs were you can see the view out the windows, but avoid getting too close to a window where you will feel a cold draft. The problem with sitting where there is a draft is folks will be turning the thermostat up, even though the rest of the house is plenty warm.
It does save on the lighting bill if you can use light from a window in place of a reading lamp; just make sure that the window is well sealed.
Do not obstruct supply and return air ducts
Be careful that you do not cover up either supply or return air registers. If you put a piece of furniture over a register, it will either mess up the airflow or block it completely.
The airflow needs to spread out through the whole room to do an efficient job. Blocking the flow of air will cost more on your heating and cooling bills. Putting a chair next to a heating supply register may tempt someone to stack newspapers or magazines on it.
Return air ducts are often located high up on a wall. I have seen folks place a tall bookcase right in from of them. The other mistake I’ve seen is folks who try to hide the ugly return air register. They block the airflow by hanging a painting or poster over it. It is great to show your artwork, but don’t cover a return air register or you will starve your heating and cooling system.
Some wall art is insulation too
My wife makes wall hanging quilts that add insulation value to the 6 or 8 square feet that they cover. I know some quilters hang full size bed quilts on their walls to display them. They are saving energy especially if it is on an exterior wall.
Inspiration for this article came from a post titled Quick Tip: Arrange Your Furniture to Save Energy at Best Green Tips.com
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