The summer of 2020 is unlike any we have ever experienced before. Instead of spending 40+ hours a week in an air-conditioned office, building, or storefront, many workers across the country are logging in from home and experiencing new challenges in their day-to-day life now that the temperatures are rising.
Cool air is something we take for granted when we aren’t paying for it. The utility bill for our place of work is typically our employer’s problem. But what happens when our place of work and home life collide? Who pays for the air conditioning and increased energy use then? We do!
The last thing homeowners want to deal with during trying times like these is an astronomical energy bill due to a spike in their energy usage. Spending more time at home means more electricity is required to power home offices and appliances typically not in use during work hours. Now that summer is here and temperatures are rising, that spike jumps even higher to power fans, air conditioners, and more.
So what can we do to keep our energy usage down and cut that utility bill back? Have no fear, EFI is here with some useful tips and tricks for staying cool this summer without burning up our utility bill.
Make the Most of Cool Hours
During the summer months, it doesn’t take much for the temperature inside homes to rise to an uncomfortable degree. Take advantage of the hours when it is cooler outside and work during the morning hours and evening hours if your home office gets uncomfortable during daytime hours. Alternatively, migrate with the sun. If you primarily work in an upstairs room that gets too hot in the afternoon, limit your time there to the early part of the day. After lunch, migrate to a cooler spot in your finished basement or in a room downstairs that is out of direct sunlight in the later hours of the day.
Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat
Get rid of the old school thermostat. By upgrading to a smart thermostat, you can start saving energy and money. With the power to set a schedule for your central air or heating, the ability to power on or off the thermostat from anywhere via a convenient app, and analytics to help you determine how you can improve the way you use your comfort systems, a smart thermostat is a fantastic tool to help you cut down your utility bill. Some utilities even offer farther discounts on your bill if you allow them access to your thermostat to help manage temperatures during peak hours!
Plug Air Cooling Appliances into an Advanced Power Strip
If an air conditioning unit or high-powered fan is a must, use an Advanced Power Strip to ensure you’re saving as much energy as you can while using them. An APS helps you save energy by reducing the amount of standby power wasted by your electronics. Yep – even if you power off that AC or fan, it may still be pulling energy from the outlet it is plugged into! Put a stop to that and plug your fans into an APS to get a handle on all that wasted energy.
Close Blinds & Add Weather-Stripping to Windows
Block out the hot sun by closing blinds. Doing this will help keep the temperature from rising inside and will help keep you cool. It’s also a good idea to add weather-stripping to your home (or replace it if existing weather-stripping needs upgrading) to prevent the hot air from coming in those pesky leaky spots!
Add a Battery-Powered Fan to Your Desk Setup
Remember those battery-powered mini lights that clip on the edge of your book to help with reading at night or in dimly lit spaces? They were tiny but mighty without using any electricity. Buy a battery-powered mini fan for your desktop or to clip onto your monitor. The fan’s direct airflow will keep you cool in a stuffy room without touching your power outlet.
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