I Invested 100€ In My Room When I Moved In (And Here’s What Happened)

Whenever I move in a new flat there are a couple of things I need to have in my room, not only to feel comfortable, but also to minimize the impact of my new environment on my health. Not only did this changes made me happier and healthier but these small upgrades saved me in the past 2 years around 200 Euros in heating and electricity bills (compared with the average energy consumption assumed by the landlord). Not a bad ROI.
1. Thick, Heavy, Dark Drapes
Having a great mattress is one of the keys to a good night sleep. However, if I do not have drapes to block the noise and the light coming from the street, I always wake up tired the next day, even if I sleep for more than 8 hours. That’s because light and noise are two of the most common sleep disruptors, especially if you live in a crowded city. When closed during hot summer days, they can reduce inside temperature with up to 3-5 degrees. A set of drapes can cost as little as 40 Euros, and it’s an investment that will pay out ten folds in energy savings (by keeping more of the heat inside during winter and outside during summer). If there is one thing I would not want to live without, this would be my drapes.

2. Windows sealings
Another easy and inexpensive way to improve the energy efficiency and the comfort of your flat is to change your windows sealings. They tend to wear out after a year or two, so even if you have efficient windows, they could be letting air and noise in due to poor maintenance. If you do it yourself, it will cost you around 10-20 Euros to change the seals on one window. Again a small investment that pays for itself in short time.

3. Plants
I like to have plants in my room, to reduce indoor air pollution and associated eye irritations and respiratory problems. You can check out more about the top air purifying plants in one of the previous articles.
For my room I choose a spider plant that filters air during the night, and a dracaena for filtering air during the day. Both plants cost me, on sale, around 15 Euros, a very cheap, automated and low maintenance air filter.

4. Extension cord with a switch
Laptops and other appliances still use electricity even if they are shut down. An easy and inexpensive way to prevent this is to buy an extension cord with a switch so when you leave home or you go to bad you can simply flip a switch and prevent all the little light inside your room from affecting your sleep. Plus you will reduce your energy bill with 5 to 10%. I bought mine for 5 Euros so this is an investment that anyone can afford.

5. Aluminum foil behind the radiator
Have you noticed that half of our radiators are facing the wall? That means that almost half of the heat is going into a large heat absorber, instead of your room. Modern houses have an extra layer of insulation behind the radiators, but most old buildings don’t. An easy way to reduce this loss if to place an aluminum foil insulator behind the radiator. This will force part of the heat back into your room and increase the thermal comfort of your flat. You can get one of this for less than 5 Euros and start feeling warm even with the radiators turned down.

What is the first thing you change in your room?