5 ways your home can save you money during quarantine.
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Don’t think their effectiveness is limited to when we’re sheltering in place, though. These tips will help keep your wallet healthy at any time.
Defeat the phantom load
Any electronic that you leave plugged in, even if the device is in standby mode or off, is sucking energy off the grid. It might not be a lot of energy, but when you consider how many things you have plugged in at home – cell phone chargers, computers, televisions, lamps, coffee makers, washers, dryers, refrigerators – it adds up. Energy.gov reports that “an appliance constantly taking in 1 watt of electrical current is equivalent to 9kWh per year, adding up to $1 in annual costs (basically $1/watt/annual). Considering how many appliances are used in an average household, costs can quickly add up to $100-200 a year.”
To save money and energy, unplug devices that aren’t in use. You can also use a power strip and turn that off when those devices aren’t needed. This hack is particularly helpful with devices that work together, like a television, cable box and gaming console. The same goes for computers and printers.
When you’re tempted to throw a quick load of laundry in the washer, ask yourself if there’s enough dirty clothes to make it worth it. Running a half-load drains unnecessary energy and water resources. Try using the cold cycle too, as most of your washer’s energy consumption comes just from heating the water. You might also consider a dryer sensor that can turn a standard dryer into a smart appliance by monitoring temperature and the “doneness” of your clothes. It may be more accurate, and therefore efficient, than the appliance’s built-in sensors.
You can also conserve water and energy by taking shorter showers. According to Seattle City Light, if each member of a family of four reduces their daily showers by three minutes, they could save almost $100 per year. And let’s be honest. If you aren’t going out, there’s no one to notice that you didn’t wash, rinse AND repeat.
Cool your jets
Revisit your thermostat settings. Especially if you turned the heat up during the day now that you’re working from home more, you may want to tweak it again to offset the additional cost. Lower the temperature at night when you’re sleeping, and throw an extra blanket on the bed if you need. That warmth is free. If spring has sprung in your area, adjust the thermostat for the new season’s temperatures while you’re thinking about.
Check your policies
Some insurance companies are reducing premiums during the pandemic due to changes in our behavior. This is most common when it comes to car insurance – we aren’t driving as much – but call your broker and ask about refunds, deals or other options to reduce your payments. While you’re at it, you might as well make sure your home insurance policy is up-to-date.
Find your new normal
We’re all talking about what we’ll do “when things get back to normal.” Now is the perfect time to decide what you want your normal to be. Take a moment to reevaluate your priorities and the things you enjoy. If an expense no longer supports the things you need and love, cut it from your budget. For example, cancel or suspend your gym membership if you’re enjoying your new outdoor workouts. Or stop magazine, streaming and meal subscriptions if you still aren’t using them, even with your extra free time.
Schlage understands the additional stresses you might find yourself under right now. Our blog has more tips related to helping you during the pandemic. Find ways to boost your mood with a style lift, ideas to build or improve your home office, tips for creating a calm home during stressful times, a variety of projects to help keep the kids busy and more.