Because of COVID-19, many people are now working from home. As a result, many are worried about the increased costs for their utilities and how they will pay them. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to save money, such as only watering your lawn with the required one inch of water it needs on a weekly basis. Here are tips on how to manage your utility usage while you’re working from home.
Unplug When Not In Use
Unplug any appliances or electronic devices that can suck up electricity when you’re not using them. These include things like your laptop, TV, and printer. You can find out what sucks the most energy in your home by getting a power monitor from the utility company. It can show you through an app on your phone what devices you need to pay the most attention to. Unplugging these devices can save you up to $60 each year. You can also connect these devices to a smart power strip that can regulate the flow of energy for you. These strips put appliances and electronic devices on standby mode when not in use so they don’t keep draining energy. These strips may also be able to prevent your home security system from going haywire and potentially locking you out of your home if you have to reset the alarm. There are about 16,000 home lockouts that happen every day in the United States.
Fix Water Leaks
About 10% of households have plumbing leaks that waste up to 90 gallons of water every day. One leaking faucet alone can cost you $20 extra each month on your water bill. If there’s a small crack in one of your plumbing pipes, you can spend up to $600 each month. A leaky toilet can set you back $150 on average each month. Get your plumbing inspected and have any leaks repaired to avoid wasting money on your water bill.
You can find toilet leaks by putting food coloring in the tank. If the food coloring shows up in your bowl after 15 minutes, it’s a good indication that the toilet flapper or valve seal needs to be replaced. Leaky faucets can be fixed by replacing worn washers and gaskets. You can get many of these items at home improvement stores and fix the leaks yourself. You can find plenty of instructional videos for free on YouTube that will show you how to get these things repaired.
Switch To A Fixed Rate Plan
With everyone staying at home because of the pandemic, you’ll probably be using more energy than you normally would. This can lead to big spikes in your utility bills. To prevent that from happening, consider switching to a fixed-rate plan. Even if you’re using a lot more power, your energy bill will remain more predictable. You won’t have to worry about a heavy spike with all the kids at home playing video games and watching Netflix while you’re teleconferencing and washing clothes all at the same time.
Maximize Use Of Natural Light
Natural light is not only an energy booster for you as a human being, but it can also help you save money as well. Set up your home office in a room that has plenty of windows and use the sunlight as your energy source during the day. If you do need more light, turn on smaller desk lamps than switching on overhead lighting.
Use Energy Efficient Equipment
Make sure that all of your home office equipment is ENERGY STAR-certified. This will help you save money and power because it uses half the energy normal equipment does. You could see energy savings up to 75% on your utility bills. Make sure that all your appliances have this certification label as well. Use your laptop to conduct business rather than a desktop computer as these use less energy to operate. A desktop computer will cost you about $28 in electricity costs per year, where a laptop will only cost around $5 on a yearly basis. If you activate the power management controls on your computer, you could save up to $100 annually on energy costs.
Adjust The Thermostat
The biggest sources of energy consumption is your heating and cooling systems. You can use a programmable thermostat to control your home’s temperature. Use fans in windows to create a cross breeze in the summertime instead of turning on the air conditioner. Turn up the thermostat in warmer weather. By doing so, you could see a 6% savings. Make sure to keep your HVAc system cleaned and maintained. Get your system inspected for any wear and tear that might be reducing its overall efficiency. Changing and cleaning your filters every 30 days can dramatically reduce energy costs.
As the pandemic continues and the summer weather begins, keeping your costs under control will be vital. If you’re struggling to pay your utility bills, contact your providers to see if they can provide you with any assistance. By following these tips, you’ll help lower your utility costs while you’re working from home.