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COVID-19 has everyone stuck at home, which means an increase in the grocery budget and a potential spike in the energy bills.
While it’s understandable that when everyone is at home for 24 hours every day that more energy will be used, today, I’m sharing five ways that you can conserve energy while everyone is stuck at home so there are no surprises when your energy bill arrives.
Air dry your dishes
Let’s face it, we’ve become accustomed to using our dishwashers for convenience.
We’re often in a hurry, but now that everyone is home there’s no reason to rush things.
Do your part to save energy by allowing your dishes to air dry instead.
It’s understandable that after cooking large meals you won’t want to hand wash all of the dishes, but heat drying them uses unnecessary energy when it’s much more environmentally friendly to just let them air dry next to the sink.
With stay-at-home orders in place, we now have an opportunity to adopt new, greener habits.
Unplug electronics and appliances when not using them
These days, modern electronics are capable of preventing further charging when they’ve reached their capacity. This protects your batteries from overcharging and allows your devices to run for longer.
Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t mean you’re not using electricity anymore. Standby and charging modes still use a moderate amount of electricity.
It may not seem like much, and it’s not, but when you add in the cumulative number of hours plus all the electronic devices we all use at home, this can quickly add up.
And you can avoid wasting energy simply by unplugging your appliances when you’re not using them.
For example, your coffee maker, toaster oven, microwave, and other similar appliance don’t always need to be plugged in.
To take it a step further, you can even unplug lamps and televisions when they’re not in use. My personal suggestion is to invest in a power strip and plug things into that and then unplug the power strip when items aren’t in use.
I understand having to plug things in can be a pain in the butt when you want to use them, however, you’re wallet will thank you when your energy bill comes around.
If possible just leave the must-have items plugged in such as your refrigerator and stove.
Open your blinds during the day to conserve energy
You may not have considered the environmental impact on lighting your home. Most of us aren’t at home during the day under normal circumstances. Plus, when you add the kids into the mix you’ll find that they often have various lights on throughout the house in rooms that they aren’t even occupying.
Did you know that 60% of the electricity used within homes is used exclusively for lighting?
If the sun is shining, open the blinds and prevent your energy bill from spiking during this crisis. Plus, it’s much healthier to enjoy some sunlight than sitting in a room lit by artificial light all day.
Get the kids into the habit of not turning on any lights (outside of the bathroom of course) during the day time and save yourself the sanity of not having to constantly flick off light switches all day.
Do full loads of laundry
When you’re home all day, it’s natural to want to stay on top of laundry to keep the clutter of the laundry basket at bay. However, since you are home all day, there shouldn’t be a need for specific clothing items needed at the spur of the moment.
A washing machine running on a hot cycle wastes so much energy, with up to 90% of the energy used going towards heating the water.
Try to wait until you can put in a full load before launching a cycle. Furthermore, you may want to consider using cold water to dramatically reduce your energy consumption.
If the weather is nice where you live, refrain from using the dryer and hang your clothes outside too.
Make sure your air conditioning filters are clean
New air conditioning models use energy in a highly efficient manner, but a dirty filter could reduce its efficiency by up to half without you realizing it.
Energy expert Douglas Healy says that it’s incredibly easy to change a filter on your air conditioning unit. It isn’t necessary to call in a professional to do it for you.
A cheaper filter should be switched out every 30 days, whereas a high-end pleated filter can run for six months without any decline in performance.
You can conserve energy while stuck at home
If you’ve already received your energy bill since the stay at home orders went into place and were surprised by an increase, start implementing these tips to conserve energy today.
Just because you’re at home, it doesn’t mean that you have to suffer from higher energy bills.
What are your favorite ways to conserve energy in your home?