Whether you are working from home, learning from home, or just sheltering in place to stay safe during the pandemic, you are likely noticing some unexpected consequences of spending more time at home. Many households are seeing that while they may be enjoying their extra time at home, their energy bill is higher than usual.
Using more electricity than average is an unavoidable consequence of staying home more, but you can take steps to reduce your electricity costs during the pandemic. Some actions are simple habit changes, while others require more commitment, but using a combination of these suggestions can lower your household’s monthly energy bill.
If you are using more electricity than usual, you can always turn to generators to generate more energy. There are a few different types of generators for homes, but the two most common types are propane and solar generators. Both options are relatively eco-friendly as solar generators do not create pollution, and propane is a clean fuel source, but there are essential differences between the two types.
Propane generators are permanent additions to your home and are available in a range of capacities to suit your household’s needs. Propone does not degrade over time like other fuels and is non-toxic, so you don’t need to worry about soil or water contamination. Most propane generators produce less than 60 decibels of noise while running, so you are not deafened by a loud generator. A propane generator, in the appropriate capacity for your home, can supply enough energy to power your whole house for days on end in the event of a power outage, unlike other standard generator options.
Solar generators are most commonly portable and used to power smaller electronic devices such as smartphones, but larger solar generators can power a refrigerator. Some solar generators can power an entire house, but those approach full roof-mounted solar panel system status. The right size solar generator for you depends on what you are looking to power. A portable solar generator is ideal for smaller devices, but you can also take it on camping trips or road trips. Larger solar generators come with a heftier price tag but can power a broader range of devices.
Small Energy Habit Changes
If you do not want to commit to a full generator, there are smaller ways you can reduce your energy consumption. Making one of these changes is likely not enough to make a major dent in your monthly bill, but combining all these changes will amount to a noticeable drop in energy use, and therefore, monetary savings.
Turn Off the Lights
We all remember being nagged by our parents to turn the lights off if you are not in the room, but little did we know the lesson would be helpful later in life. Turning off lights you do not need can help save energy, especially if your light bulbs are incandescent or halogen bulbs.
Opt for Energy-Saving Light Bulbs
If you must keep multiple lights on during the day, switch to LED or CFL bulbs. LED and CFL bulbs use far less energy than standard incandescent bulbs while shining brighter and lasting longer.
Adjust Your Thermostat Accordingly
You should be comfortable in your home, but making some compromises on temperature will save you energy. Instead of cranking the air conditioning to 72, turn on a ceiling or desk fan, and leave the thermostat at 78. The same rule applies for heating. Instead of turning up the heat, grab a blanket or sweater.
Use Your Appliances Wisely
You may think washing the dishes by hand is the best way to save energy, but it is better to run a full load of dishes in your dishwasher. Only run your dishwasher when it is truly full, and be sure to turn off heated dry or any other extra options you do not need to save energy. Using your washing machine does not use excessive energy, but be sure to use cold water because washing your clothes in hot water uses more energy as the water must be heated beforehand. If possible, hang your clothes to dry overnight instead of using your dryer. Dryers use a lot of energy to generate heat, but air-drying your clothes uses no energy at all.
Saving Energy Saves Money Too
In these uncertain times, everyone is trying to save money. While we are spending more time at home, one way to save money is to save energy. You can add generators to your home to compensate for your higher energy usage. You can also change smaller habits that will add up to a more significant change in your energy usage.