Maximizing Energy Efficiency During Quarantine
Introduction: With an extended period of home quarantine ahead, it’s essential to consider how your energy consumption impacts both your bills and the environment. By implementing straightforward strategies, you can significantly reduce your energy expenses while staying environmentally responsible.
1. Opt for the Dishwasher Over Handwashing
Using a dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand not only saves you time but also reduces energy costs. According to the Electricity Commission, an Energy Star dishwasher can save you approximately 230 hours, 5,000 gallons of water, and $40 in electricity expenses annually.
2. Transition to Smart Light Bulbs
Embrace LED lighting, as recommended by the Ministry of Electricity. LED bulbs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and have a lifespan 25 times longer. This shift not only cuts costs but also contributes to resource conservation.
3. Eliminate Energy Waste
Put an end to the constant battle over turning off lights. Innovative solutions like the GE LED Plus series and Ring smart outdoor lights incorporate motion sensors to automatically control lighting, ensuring efficiency and reducing unnecessary energy consumption.
4. Turn Off Your Stove Early
The Department of Energy suggests that turning off your stove a bit earlier still provides enough residual heat to complete cooking, resulting in savings on your electricity bill. Exceptions apply, but this tip applies to most dishes.
5. Keep the Oven Closed
Remember to keep the oven closed while cooking. Each time it’s opened, the temperature can drop by up to 25 degrees, requiring more energy to reheat. To conserve electricity, use an oven light for monitoring.
6. Utilize Compact Home Appliances
Opt for small appliances like microwaves and toasters for heating and preparing smaller meals. They consume less electricity compared to using a stove.
7. Consider Installing a Dimmer Switch
Dimming your lights, as suggested by the Ministry of Electricity, not only sets the mood but also conserves energy by reducing power consumption. To maximize energy savings, explore dimmer switches controllable via a mobile app.
8. Employ Smart Plugs
Smart plugs, such as the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini, enable you to manage device power. Turn off devices that may consume more energy than expected, even when in standby mode.
9. Tackle Phantom Load
Reduce phantom load, which refers to the power consumption of devices in standby mode, to save money. Consider using power strips or smart outlets for easy control.
10. Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat
Replace your outdated thermostat with a programmable one like Nest, Ecobee, or Honeywell. According to the Energy Savings Alliance, this upgrade can trim up to 10% off your heating and cooling costs.
11. Opt for Cold Water Washing
Opting for cold water when washing clothes conserves energy. Approximately 90% of an electric washing machine’s energy usage is dedicated to water heating. This change can save you around $63 annually on your electric bill.
12. Evaluate Laundry Room Upgrades
Older appliances may be costing more than you realize. For example, a washing machine over a decade old could add up to $190 to your annual expenses. While upgrading all equipment might not be feasible, consider making changes when possible for significant savings.
13. Minimize Dryer Use
Always switch off the dryer when the washing cycle is complete. Dryers account for approximately 20% of energy use in a typical home. Reducing dryer usage can yield noticeable savings.