Watch Your Home’s Energy Hogs While Sheltering in Place
April 1, 2020
As everyone settles into their homes to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic, their energy bills will jump, perhaps even skyrocket. But there are some simple things that homeowners can do to curb their costs, particularly as electronics and lights are used .
Sense, a company that offers home energy monitoring solutions, offers up the following five ways to save money on energy costs at home during this time.
1. Turn off electronics when not in use.
Keeping gadgets on constantly will add to your electricity bill. Consumer electronics and common devices can account for 23% of the average electricity bill—or about $322 annually, according to Sense. Turn off devices that aren’t in use. Place printers, PCs, laptops, home entertainment equipment, and gaming systems on power strips. Turn them off when not in use.
2. Swap out every incandescent light bulb.
Incandescent bulbs can use up to 70% more energy than LEDs. They can be all over your home—inside your fridge and your oven and outdoors such as porch lights. Swap them out to help save on your energy bills.
3. Turn off extra appliances.
Consider consolidating food into a single refrigerator. Particularly older fridge or freezer models can be energy hogs. For example, Sense says that a 10-year-old refrigerator alone could add $53 annually to your energy costs. Refrigerators that should be maintained to keep them working most efficiently: Vacuum the condenser coils, inspect and clean the door gaskets for a proper seal, and check the temperature setting (at or below 40 degrees for fridge and 0 for the freezer), Sense recommends.
4. Clean the dryer vent.
Lint collects in the dryer vent and can make your dryer less efficient. Blocked vents can also become a fire hazard. Clean out the dryer duct and vent, but be sure to follow safe practices. If you’re looking for more savings, consider hanging your clothes outside to dry on a warm day or set the dryer on a delicate cycle to use less energy.
5. Turn off your coffee maker.
Coffee makers may have a warming mode to allow them to stay on for a prolonged time. That could add up to $60 annually on your electricity bill, Sense says. Turn off the coffeemaker warmer and use your microwave to reheat to save on costs.
Updated: May 29, 2020