Tips to save while you’re home
Many of us are spending much more time at home – all day, every day. That means working from home, attending classes at home and using our appliances, devices and other electronics A LOT. Here are a few tips and tools – courtesy of PPL’s energy efficiency program – that can help you save energy and money without leaving the comfort of your own home or making an investment. Our free Online Energy Assessment provides you with energy saving recommendations and offers personalized for your home or you can use the guiding principles below.
Make your home more efficient.
Check your thermostat. Heating and cooling is often where most homes use the most energy. Most of us are still running our heat – and 68° F is the recommended heating setting for energy efficiency. For those who already have a programmable thermostat, it should automatically adjust the temperature for optimal energy use. This is a good time to review your settings to make sure your thermostat matches your family’s new schedule. Lowering the thermostat is one simple change, and you can always snuggle up with an extra blanket or layer your clothing to stay as comfortable as possible.
Check your air vents and registers. If they’re blocked by furniture or drapes, the air won’t reach the rest of the room.
Use hot water wisely. Water heating accounts for the second largest use of energy in most homes. There are a few things you can do to help cut this down. First, confirm the temperature on your hot water heater. Setting its thermostat to 120 degrees is another easy way to save. Short showers use less hot water than baths. Using less hot water means less energy used.
Optimize your kitchen. Many of us have a full house for the foreseeable future – and the kitchen is another opportunity to save. You can save yourself the energy from firing up the stove or oven by using your microwave or toaster oven to reheat or cook small portions. Use a covered kettle or pot, or electric kettle to boil water. It’s faster and uses less energy.
It’s also important to match the cooking method to the meal. When the weather permits, fire up the grill. When it doesn’t, using a slow-cooker and pressure cooker more are good alternatives. They’re convenient and use less energy than your stove and oven. And if you need to use the oven, make multiple items to get the most use for your energy dollar. And be sure to match the size of your pots and pans to the heating element for efficient cooking.
Food storage is also particularly top of mind right now. Don’t keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 35° F – 38° F for the fresh food compartment and 0° F for separate freezers for long-term storage. You should cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder, using more electricity.
When it’s time to clean up, be sure you’re running a full dishwasher. Running partial or small loads wastes energy.
As the laundry piles up. Whether we’re stuck home or out and about, one thing is certain: Laundry never stops. When possible, wash your family’s laundry with cold water instead of hot and wait to wash full loads. Hot water is typically only necessary for very dirty laundry. And when it comes to laundry, don’t forget to clean the lint filter on your dryer. Clogged filters can prevent the dryer from doing its job efficiently.
Home office and electronics. Make it a point to turn off the computer and monitor or unplug chargers when they are not in use. Many electronics still use power even when they’re in standby mode. To help, plug your home electronics into power strips. With the flip of a switch, you can turn the power strip off when the equipment is not in use.
Last one out, turn off the lights. Since we use and need lighting throughout our homes, it’s important to remember that even something as small as a nightlight uses energy. We know how important it is to turn out the lights when we’re not in the room and use daylight when possible.
It may seem like you’re chasing your kids around shutting off lights all week – but it’s also important to have energy saving bulbs, like LEDs in the fixtures you use most. And on sunny days, take advantage of natural sunlight as well.
Making these changes part of your regular routine is easy, and can you get the most out of your energy dollars.