Being quarantined because of COVID-19 could have you worried about increasing your utility bill. Naturally, spending more time at home means spending more money on your home. Plus, using more energy will contribute to your household footprint.
Take a look at 6 easy and inexpensive ways to make your home more energy efficient in the wake of the Coronavirus.
1. Swap Your Desktop for a Laptop or Tablet
Widespread Shelter in Place orders and increased community awareness has turned a lot of America’s workforce into telecommuters. Whether you use your own computer or company equipment, plugging a desktop computer into your wall is going to suck out much more electricity than a laptop or tablet.
If you have the ability, try to use the device that requires the least amount of energy. If you can’t switch to a more efficient option, keep your screen brightness at a low level and turn your sound off when not in use.
2. Stick to a Schedule
Spending most, if not all, of your day indoors can mess with your sense of time. As a result, it’s easy to end up spreading your work throughout the day. This means more time with the lights, AC, and power strip on.
Limiting your most energy-dependent activities to specific times throughout the day will keep you from unnecessarily running devices and appliances.
Keeping yourself on a rigid routine is great for your mental and physical well being, which will put you in the best position to start new habits. Reduce your energy consumption, and improve your peace of mind at the same time.
3. Turn Down the Heater or AC
Depending on where you live around the country, you could be facing increased heating or cooling costs as a result of spending more time at home. By shifting the temperature in your house by just a few degrees, you can shave hundreds from your utility costs each year.
Since you’ll be in the comfort of your own abode, you can simply grab a blanket or throw on a sweater if you’re feeling chilly. Even if you’re working from home and the humid summer temps are starting to creep in, you can strip down as much as you’d like as long as you aren’t on a video call.
Being home gives you the advantage of controlling the rest of your environment, so you don’t have to rely on your HVAC system to stay comfortable.
4. Put Away Your Space Heater
While they might be small in most cases, space heaters are energy-burning monsters that can easily cause your power bill to skyrocket. They also distribute heat unevenly, so you need to keep them on longer to warm up a room.
In general, using fewer appliances during your time at home will help you prevent a surprise surge in utility costs.
Instead of plugging one in, bundle up and make a cup of tea and enjoy the hundreds you can save by eliminating just one appliance from your household.
5. Use Efficient Lighting
Switching out standard bulbs for an energy-efficient alternative can save you upwards of $50 a year in lighting costs alone. While this project would require an initial investment, eco-friendly bulbs can last years before needing to be replaced.
Additionally, you should always be mindful of the light sources you’re turning on and off through the house. Positioning your desk near a window could give you even more lights-off time, and using lamps instead of ceiling lights and sconces can reduce the overall amount you’d need.
Choosing smart lighting can also keep your home cooler, which can reduce your electricity consumption as the weather starts to warm up.
6. Only Turn On Appliances When in Use
In that same vein, it’s important to keep an eye on the appliances you use throughout the day. It’s easy to leave tools and devices on as you move from room to room, but you could be passively siphoning energy without even knowing it.
Start making it a habit to turn off your appliances as soon as you’re finished with each task. You’ll save energy, and you’ll keep your home safer by preventing fire hazards and other dangers.
Coronavirus might have turned a lot of lives upside down, but you can still consume energy consciously while in self isolation. Try these affordable, energy-saving tips to lower your power bill and carbon footprint without leaving your home.