This is part of the Work from Home Series I started in response to questions I get about how I manage my time and obligations with my family life and businesses.
Previous posts include:
- Working from Home: Money Advice for Self-Employed
- Work at Home: My Typical Day
- Work at Home: Productivity Tools
When my husband and I both started working from that new home, we feared what it would do to our electricity bills. We were suddenly home all the time, which prevented the money savings many families get by being out of their homes for forty plus hours per week.
So I set out to find the little tips and tricks that would help us save as much as possible while working at home. We implemented some helpful tricks in our own home, saving both energy usage and money. Here are some ways you too can reduce energy your energy usage:
- Keep your electronics and appliances unplugged while not in use because even when turned off they are still consuming wasted energy. In fact, experts believe that about 10% of your monthly energy bill may be attributed to wasted energy. Take 10% off your monthly bill, multiply that by 12 months and I bet it will be worth it to you to unplug those appliances! Also, be sure to unplug your phone or mobile device when it is fully charged.
- You can purchase smart power strip outlet chargers to power down your laptops, televisions or entertainment systems automatically. Smart power strips include one or two outlets for devices that need continual power and also have controlled outlets that turn off when the item is not in use. Therefore no energy is wasted and you save time and money. We purchased several smart power strips for our home.
- Change your home’s air filters regularly allowing for a proper flow of air and a regulated thermostat.
- Check out the settings on your refrigerator or freezer to see if they can be lowered a bit and still keep your food fresh.
- If you can see easily around the room without needing to turn on the light, leave it off. Open blinds and window shades during the day to allow natural light to flood the room.
- When doing laundry, do not run the dryer on the cycle that keeps going until the entire load is dry. Instead, set the timer for 40-45 minutes, depending on your dryer and the size of the load of laundry. Then take out any dry items (since some fabrics dry faster than others), making the rest of the load smaller. Clean out the lint filter. Then start the dryer again for about 10-15 minutes to finish the load. In my home we save at least ten minutes of drying time per load of laundry this way. With about eight loads a week, we save eighty minutes less per week spent on energy to heat the dryer, 69 hours per year!
- Call your electricity, cable and phone companies to make sure there were no hidden extras on our bills. We saved $20 per month this way.
- Lastly, if you live in a state with deregulated energy, consider switching the electricity portion of our electric bill to renewable energy. We saved approximately $250 in our first year and all it took was one phone call. (To find out more about deregulated energy, go to: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-energy-deregulation.htm.)
Just imagine how much we could reduce wasted electricity use if we all implemented tactics such as these in our homes.
Have you taken any measures to reduce your energy usage or to save money on your electric bills? If so, do you have any additional tips to share?