Summer is almost over, and while your kids might not be ready for school to start again, you can be excited about the new energy-savings opportunities that the back-to-school season brings. Autumn is a time of the year full of transitions: from hot to cool weather, from summer relaxation to busy fall schedules. With change in the air, it might be a good time to make some adjustments to your energy habits as well. These tips will help you gear up for the school year in the most energy-efficient way possible.
🍎 Adjust your thermostat - With the kids away at school, you will suddenly have fewer warm bodies in the house raising the temperature during the day. There's no need to blast the air conditioner like you would in the summer, even if it's still hot out! Go ahead and turn up your thermostat a few degrees, and keep in mind that you can save 4-8% on your cooling costs for each degree you raise it. You can also reverse this pattern as the weather gets cooler.
🍎 Use your refrigerator wisely - If you prepare your kids lunches in the morning, or if they do it themselves, you may be opening and closing your fridge door frequently throughout the process. This makes your fridge work extra hard to keep a consistent temperature. To save energy, take out all your ingredients and supplies at once and set them on the counter. This makes your lunch easier to access, quicker to pack, and will keep you from wasting energy through your fridge door. This is also a process that you can incorporate in your dinner preparation as well.
🍎 Unplug your devices - Chances are your kids won't be using all their electronic gadgets while they're away at school, and neither will you. If you have electronics sitting around unused most of the day, make sure they are unplugged and powered off. This will stop them from using "Vampire Energy" - energy that leaks out from plugs, chargers, and electronics while they are not in use.
🍎 Keep busy after school - Having bored kids around the house is a major drain in your household's electricity. Playing on the computer, watching TV, using the microwave, and all sorts of other activities your kids might do when they come home from school don't look so great on your electric bill. Peak energy demand is also during the early evening, so electricity will be more expensive during this time if you have a time-of-use rate. Keep your kids out of the house by encouraging after-school activities. If your children are occupied with sports, music lessons, and school clubs, they'll be both gaining valuable experiences and saving you money on your electric bill.
🍎 Turn off the engine - If you're regularly waiting in your car while picking up and dropping off your kids from various activities, don't let it sit on idle too long. It takes less energy to turn off your engine and turn it back on again than it does to leave it idling. Leaving your car on idle in hot temperatures also puts unnecessary stress on the engine, so turning off your engine is better for both the car and the environment in the long run.
Use these tips to help save you money! Have a wonderful school year! Happy Fall!