Today’s contributed post comes from long-time contributor to Pocketables, Nick Rojas.
Millions of people around the world have been isolated at home for over a month, and the quarantine will continue for some time in many places. While you are in home isolation, you are likely using more energy than usual, and this can result in higher bills, but there are solutions to this new problem. Whether you will be in home isolation for a few more days or a few more weeks, there are steps you can take to save energy and lower your monthly energy bill. Use a combination of these tips and tricks to save energy during home isolation.
Use What Makes Sense For Your Area
Solar energy is one of the most commonly suggested ways of reducing your energy bills as solar panels, and solar generators produce free energy from the sun. Still, solar doesn’t make sense for every situation.
Solar energy in Texas makes a lot of sense as the sun is out for much of the day in Texas, but solar energy would be less successful in primarily overcast climates. If you are in an area that gets moderate sunlight, consider using portable solar generators to power devices ranging from computers and smartphones to small appliances. If you live in an area with consistent sunshine, look into larger solar panels.
Some states have begun reopening, and solar panel installers may be taking orders again in your area if you want to invest in roof-mounted solar panels.
Small Energy Saving Tricks
There is no magic solution to saving energy. If you want to lower your monthly usage, you will need to employ a combination of changes, especially now that you are spending more time at home. While you are working from home, your lights will be on longer, and you may be using your HVAC system more than usual. To combat these energy usage increases, use these small changes.
Only Run Full Loads
You may think using your dishwasher is never the most energy-efficient option, but it is in certain situations. Running your dishwasher when it is full is more energy and water-efficient than washing the same amount of dishes by hand. However, do not use the heated dry option on your dishwasher; otherwise, you will negate the energy savings. Start your dishwasher later in the day and leave the dishes in the dishwasher to dry overnight. You will wake up to clean dry dishes without wasting energy.
The same rule applies to your washing machine; only run your washing machine with a full load to save energy and, if possible, wash your clothes in cold water to save even more power. Drying your clothes can be a little tricker. Air drying your clothes is the most energy-efficient option, but not everyone has the space to do so. Turn your dryer to the lowest setting that will still dry your clothes to waste as little energy as possible. The lower the temperature of your dryer, the less electricity you will use. Finding the perfect temperature to dry your clothes without wasting energy may require some experimentation.
Better Light Bulbs
Staying home during quarantine likely means you are keeping the lights on in your house for longer than usual. Working from home in the dark to save energy is not a good trade-off, so instead swap out your old light bulbs for energy-efficient bulbs. The incandescent light bulb has been the standard bulb for years, but CFL and LED bulbs are far superior. CFL and LED light bulbs shine brighter, last longer, and use less energy than incandescent bulbs. While CFL and LED bulbs cost more per unit than incandescent bulbs, you will recoup the cost with energy savings and less frequent bulb replacement.
Smart plugs are WiFi-connected outlets that you can control from your phone. Plug a power string into a smart plug and load up the power strip with electronics that do not need continuous power. When those devices need power, turn on the smart plug from your smartphone and turn off the smart plug when you are finished to keep the electronic devices from leaching energy even when they are not in use.
Everyone should strive to save energy while they are isolated at home. With a few simple changes to your regular habits, you can lower your monthly energy usage. Use the type of solar energy that makes sense for your climate. Only run your dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Swap out your old incandescent light bulbs for more energy-efficient bulbs. Use smart plugs to cut off energy vampire devices that suck up energy even when they are turned off. Combine all these tips and tricks to save energy while in quarantine.
Guest author bio
Nick Rojas combines 20 years of experience working with and consulting for small to medium business and a passion for journalism to help readers grow. He writes about technology, marketing, and social media for the aspiring entrepreneur. When Nick is not sharing his expertise, he can be found spending time at the beach with his dog Presto. @NickARojas