We may just be getting starting in #QuarantineLife, which absolutely sucks. And staying home more means your house will almost certainly use more heating and electricity, which could spike your monthly bills. During this time, the extra financial stress of increased household costs is something we should do our best to avoid if possible. But with fewer options available for energy upgrades in a time of social isolation, focusing on easy, quick decisions daily that will turn into great monthly savings. Here are a few that we recommend doing between making your next TikTok dance video or singing karaoke with your neighbors:
Use Natural Light As Much As Possible
Open up those curtains and pull up the blinds. Let the sunshine in and keep more cash in your wallet. If the weather is cold, the natural light helps heat your home. It also stops you from needing to turn more lights on. This simple, every day act helps you take in some rays even when it’s chilly, which can give your mental and physical health a boost in addition to providing some savings.
As long as you still use your HVAC unit to heat your home, close the blinds and curtains at night to help trap cold air from coming through the windows. Repeat this cycle until the weather changes and it gets warmer.
Don’t Lose Energy to the Vampires
When you’re home every day, you may find yourself using more appliances. Plug in the toaster for a mid-afternoon snack. Power up a video console for a work distraction. Keep a phone charger connected to an outlet or a coffeemaker turned on to have it ready when you need it. The reality is these appliances can suck up a lot of electricity in your home even when not being used. The best way to eliminate this “vampire” power loss is to unplug your appliances when you are not in use, but we know that’s not often feasible. The second best option is to order a smart outlet or power strip. These strips automatically cut power to your appliances, saving you hundreds of dollars a year and the time it takes to unplug devices.
Get That Ceiling Fan Spinning
Whether you need to heat or cool your home, a ceiling fan can be put to use if you stay in a room for long periods of time. Run your fan clockwise and at the lowest speed when you are still heating your home. Your fan will pull cold air up toward the ceiling and push warm air down. This will make the room feel warmer, as the occupied areas of the space will get the benefit of the warmer air instead of heat gathering near the ceiling.
As your home starts to need cooling, make sure you underneath the ceiling fan so you can get the benefits of the device. Your ceiling fan doesn’t actually cool your home, but it does make you feel cooler. So simply running the fan in an empty room won’t help.