Unemployment may surge past 20% here in late April, which would mean we’ve given up all the jobs gained since the Great Recession.
Hopefully, you don’t find yourself unemployed. And if you do, hopefully it’s just a temporary furlough.
Whatever’s going on, it certainly won’t hurt to put a few extra bucks in your pocket right now. And saving energy may be the most immediate way to do just such a thing.
But where’s your time best spent? After all, with energy savings, you can get goofy tips like putting gaskets in your electrical outlets, which really only saves you just a few cents per year.
In other words, it’s not even worth your time to go out, buy the gaskets, turn off your circuit breaker, take off the outlet cover, install the gasket, and then put the outlet cover back on.
So, instead of focusing on all the itty bitty nitpicky stuff that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans of difference, work on these things to put real savings in your pocket instead:
1. Use Your Decor to Your Advantage
Make sure the vents around your home aren’t blocked by furniture or drapes or anything else. You want to feel that hot or cold air coming through.
And it needs to be able to actually do its job and circulate throughout your home.
Close your curtains and shades at night to protect yourself from cold drafts. Open your blinds during the day to allow the sun to help you heat your home.
2. Only Do Full Loads of Laundry and Dishes
Okay, so you don’t have to make any personal sacrifices here. You just have to be mindful that you actually fill up your dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer.
And make sure you use your dishwasher to do your dishes. Washing your dishes by hand uses thousands of more gallons of water per year.
When you wash your clothes, make sure you use cold water. It’s generally just about as effective as using hot water, but you don’t have to pay to heat it.
However, just be aware that if someone in your home does have coronavirus, the CDC recommends you use hot water to wash your clothes.
3. Monitor Your HVAC System
The biggest consumer of energy in your home is always your HVAC system. Whatever you decide to do, your time is best spent monitoring that.
Use a smart thermostat, adjust the temperatures on your programmable thermostat, or just dress differently depending on the temperature and then manually adjust your thermostat.
Plus, you can also adjust your ceiling fan switch to push air down on you so you feel cooler but don’t feel the need to turn on your AC as much.
Your family probably won’t have a lot of excitement about some of these changes. However, they do make a difference and can help you save extra dollars, which could be just enough for you to make it through this difficult time.