Spending more time at home during a period of quarantine or social distancing doesn’t have to mean that your energy bills will get higher from added electricity use. Sure, you’re watching more TV, playing more video games, and cooking at home more. However, you can be proactive without a significant amount of effort when you implement these easy ways to save energy.
A few items that use the most energy in your home are your refrigerator, washer and dryer, oven, and dishwasher. Large appliances require more energy to operate, so if you can use them less often or more efficiently, you will save energy.
- Don’t run the dishwasher or the washer and dryer unless you have a full load.
- Hand wash dishes whenever possible, particularly items that take up a large amount of space in the dishwasher. Fill the space with many small dishes instead to maximize use.
- Open dishwasher to air-dry instead of using the heat-dry option.
- Use a slow cooker or instant pot instead of the oven.
- Hang-dry all your laundry if you can, or just hang the largest items, such as sheets, blankets, and towels.
- Consider switching to energy-efficient appliances.
- Do not leave the refrigerator door open longer than necessary.
Heat & Air Conditioning
Adjust your thermostat a few degrees above or below what you would normally choose to save on heating and cooling. If necessary, make gradual changes to give your body time to adjust to a new normal since you will be in your home most of the day.
You can also use your windows and curtains to your advantage. When the weather outside is cooperative, open the windows to let cool, fresh air in. Let in more sunlight by opening blinds and curtains when you want the house to be warmer, and close them to block full sunlight when it is too hot.
Check to make sure nothing is blocking your vents. If furniture is in front of or on top of a vent, you may be wasting a lot of energy heating the underside of your couch instead of your living room.
You may also want to consider whether your windows are efficiently keeping hot or cold air from escaping to the outdoors. If possible, replace them with double-paned, energy-efficient windows that help with maintaining the desired temperature in your home.
You can also look into adding to or upgrading your home’s insulation to better protect the inside from outer temperatures.
Heating water for showers, laundry, and dishes also requires a large amount of energy. In addition to using less water, there are ways to save energy while heating up the water before use. If you don’t have an energy-efficient water heater, try turning the temperature down whenever possible. Can you stand to have the shower slightly less hot? Can you wash more of your laundry on the warm or cold cycles?
You can also add insulation around your water heater and the first 6 feet of hot and cold water pipes.
Self-distancing is a great excuse to spend more time relaxing, playing, or working in your backyard. But even if you prefer to stay inside and use electronics for entertainment, you can unplug many items when they are not in use—for example, the toaster, coffee maker, hairdryer, and curling iron. Each of these items is only used for a few short minutes at a time, but continue to use energy while plugged in, often 24 hours a day! You can also unplug items that are used for longer stretches of time, such as chargers, lamps, and video game consoles.
Replace Your Light Bulbs
Incandescent light bulbs that are typically used in homes consume large amounts of electricity and need to be replaced frequently. Swap them out for light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, halogen incandescent bulbs, or compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). These options use far less electricity and last much longer, so even if the upfront cost is slightly more, your savings in both cost and energy will be significant in the long run.
Ecogold Through Kiwi Energy
Kiwi Energy offers energy-efficient options through our Ecogold program. If your area provides renewable energy credits, this can be a great way to contribute to clean energy initiatives while staying at home while you’re self-isolating. In addition to earning rewards or cash back, Ecogold members will benefit from electricity that is 100% matched with Green-e Energy Certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and natural gas matched 100% with Green-e Climate Certified Carbon Offsets.
Contact Kiwi Energy today to learn more about how you can contribute to a cleaner energy future!