These days, many of us are spending more time at home than usual. Your normal day-to-day routines are shifting and so is the schedule of your programmable thermostat, electronics, and appliances throughout your home. Staying home all day means that your home’s average energy use may increase to a new normal. Because of this, you may want to implement more home energy savings tips to combat increased energy usage.
Instead of your home taking a break while you go to work, when you work from home your HVAC system may now be running all day, your television may stay on in the background through muted conference calls, and lights may be switched on earlier in the evening. When you use more energy each day, your home may run more inefficiently than normal. This additional energy use increases with the number of people living in your home.
Here are some home energy savings tips you can use to offset your home energy usage now that everyone is home for extended periods of time.
Home Energy Savings Tips:
1. Unplug Electronics
Electronics that are turned off, but still plugged in, use energy. This is called a Phantom Energy Load. The amount of energy that is used while an appliance is plugged in, but turned off, varies. Some smart televisions that are set to start quickly use more energy than other televisions when they are turned “off.” This is because of settings that allow them to run on standby, which enables quicker bootup times.
The amount of energy and the cost associated with the energy used during phantom energy loads is fairly low for each appliance, but all together can add up. Your televisions, kitchen appliances, gaming consoles, old DVD players, and laptop that’s plugged in even when not in use can all result in you paying for energy that you are not even using.
2. Open your Blinds
While working from home, remember to open your blinds. It sounds simple, and it is, but there is no need to keep your lights on all day when it is sunny out. This time of year, it’s staying light later into the evening so take advantage of those extra hours of sunshine. Light up and warm your home by letting in some natural light.
3. Change Your TV and Computer Settings
As mentioned before, some TVs are automatically set to standby when they are turned “off.” This setting causes them to use more energy than other types of televisions so that they can start a couple seconds quicker when turned on. This setting can be changed so that your TV truly shuts down when you turn it off.
Just like your television, your computers also do not truly turn off when they are closed or locked. All computers have a number of settings that can be changed to either decrease or increase boot times or switch standby settings on and off. These settings will help you reduce energy consumption while you are not using your computer. If you’re using a laptop, save energy by unplugging the charger from the outlet.
4. Seal Your Home
Another way you can cut back on energy use is by sealing your home. Sealing your home of air leaks will reduce the amount of warmed or cooled air that escapes and decrease the amount of energy needed to keep your home at its target temperature. This means your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard to keep your family comfortable. To learn more about air sealing, check out these 5 DIY Air Sealing Tips.
5. Adjust Your Thermostat
If you have a programmable thermostat that is set to use less energy while you would normally be out of the house, you are most likely going to change those settings. Keep in mind that the more your HVAC system runs, the more energy you use. Although you may be more comfortable, your heating and cooling system will be using more energy. If you can put a sweatshirt on and drop your thermostat a couple of degrees, you will be saving energy and helping to keep your energy bill lower.
Programmable thermostats are usually more accurate than traditional thermostats and can save you money and energy by reading the temperature in your home more accurately. Learn more about programmable thermostats and how they can save you energy.
This may also be a time to think about a high-efficient heating and air conditioning system which can save you money in the long-run. Find out how these energy-efficient HVAC systems work with our energy savings calculator.
Your home may be using more energy right now, but these home energy savings tips can help reduce your energy usage where possible.