Seven Habits Of Highly Effective Energy Savers

Posted: April 14, 2020
Category: Retail , Tips

On Monday, April 13, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in his daily news briefing that the state has likely hit a plateau in coronavirus-related cases and that “the worst is over if we’re smart.” Does that mean that things will be back to normal soon? Not so fast. The Empire State chief executive further warned that New Yorkers must “stay the course.”

If the “stay at home” order enacted by governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have you feeling like a teenager who’s been grounded, you’re not alone. After taking measures to ensure public health last month, numerous reports from all over the country have relayed news of emotional effects of cabin fever. And while some outlets like Cibirix have offered common sense solutions like added communication and increased sleep to stave off the shelter-in-place blues, others, like Associated Press give the more creative solution of psychologically training like an astronaut.

But creative solutions to help ease the day-to-day emotional impact of home confinement probably won’t help when the utility bill comes in the mail. If you’ve been home more often, it only stands to reason that you’ve been consuming more electricity. And while utility giant Con Edison has stopped shutoffs and is waiving late-payment charges, they’re eventually going to want their money.

Fortunately, there are common sense and creative measures that you can take to cut your electrical costs. And the good news is, if you adopt these measures today and keep these habits, you can expect to see an overall decrease in your utility bill once this crisis is over and you’re spending less time at home.

GO COLD IN THE WASHER



The washing machine is a famed electricity vacuum. Warm and hot water washes require energy to warm the water. Washing clothes in cold water can significantly lower your electricity bill by lowering the need to have the water heater involved.

THROW A TOWEL IN THE DRYER



The only appliance in your laundry room that gives your washing machine a run for its money when it comes to energy consumption is your dryer. Here’s a smart tip. Place a fluffy towel into the dryer with your wet clothes. The towel will absorb moisture and cut down on drying time. One thing to remember, this is not a “set it and forget it” solution. After about 15 or 20 minutes, take the towel out and hang it dry. Otherwise, you’ve got something contributing to more moisture.

SKIP YOUR DISHWASHER’S DRY HEATED CYCLE



Do you really need to waste heat-related energy to dry your utensils, pots, pans and dishes when you have a dish towel handy? The added convenience of your dishwasher’s dry heated cycle is an unnecessary convenience that only Con Ed loves. Don’t feel like drying the old-fashioned way? Just leave the dishwasher door open when the wash cycle is done and let evaporation do its work.

CLEAN YOUR REFRIGERATOR



Your refrigerator works by circulating cold air. And when it’s cluttered with too many items, the cooling elements and fans have to work that much harder. This may be a little difficult now that in preparation of the COVID zombie apocalypse, everyone has been making less frequent trips to the market and stocking up more than they more than they normally do. In this case, consider which vegetable items don’t require long-term refrigeration. Plan your meals and leave tonight’s ingredients on the counter.

GIVE YOUR OVEN A BREAK



Chances are that over the past few weeks, you’ve been cooking a lot more than you normally do. Good for you. You’re saving money on take-out and restaurants. But if you have an electric oven, you’re probably not saving much in the end. Use lower wattage devices like slow cookers for big meals. For smaller heating-up jobs, shake hands with your microwave. It’s nearly four times as energy efficient as an oven.

WATCH THOSE CHARGERS



Did you know that standby power can make up ten percent of your annual electricity use? So, if you keep your desktop computer on all day or keep your laptop computer on its charger long past the time it’s at 100%, you’re just handing money over unnecessarily to Con Ed. The same goes for your cellphone chargers. If you’re not charging, unplug it. Better yet, put all of your chargeables onto a power strip and only turn it on when you’re using it.

DUST YOUR LIGHT BULBS



Non-profit watchdog group Consumer Reports notes that dirty light bulbs (especially incandescent and fluorescent lamps) can lose up to 50 percent illumination due to dust build up. Make a pass through your home at least every six months and clean your light bulbs. But be sure to clean only when the lamp is off. Cool water can cause a hot lightbulb to burst.

BONUS HABIT – KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS



While the extra time on your hands may have you feeling that you’re up to the task of taking on complicated home improvement projects, know when to say when. And know when to call an electrician. PK & Altman Electric has been serving the New York City area for five decades. As an essential service, our electricians (who are on hand for both emergencies and routine jobs) are reliable, fast, efficient and trained in COVID-compliant measures to ensure the safety of your home and your family.

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