The new school year is a sure sign that fall will soon be in session in New England. One lesson that we can teach our kids is that the start of the fall semester is the perfect time to learn a thing or two about saving energy. The tips below will help you do just that!
Spend Time Outside After School
Soon the time will change and there won’t be as many hours of sunlight to enjoy after school. Now is the time to make the most of it. Spending time outside after school also means kids won’t be using energy hungry devices and electronics inside. But the benefits go well beyond reduced energy use. Researchers have found kids that spend time outside enjoy better school performance, physical fitness and sleep.
Open Up the House
You can bring the fresh air inside and save energy at the same time. The fall in New England is the perfect time to open a few windows and doors around the house. The temperate weather will feel great and you’ll get a better view of the changing foliage.
Consciously Wash Those New School Clothes
Did you buy a laundry load worth of new clothes for the school year? Did you know washing and drying clothes accounts for 5% of household energy use? You don’t want to have the smelly kids in school so forgoing the laundry isn’t an option. The better solution is to eco-consciously wash your clothes.
- Always fully load washer and dryer.
- But don’t overload the dryer. Loads that are too full can take longer to dry.
- Hang as much as possible and consolidate loads when you dry.
- Do all of your dryer loads back-to-back. The dryer is more efficient when it’s already warm.
- Wash clothes in cold water.
- Use wool dryer balls to decrease drying time.
- Use the extended spin option on the washing machine to draw out as much moisture as possible.
- Set the dryer temperature too low to prevent over drying clothes.
- If your dryer has a cool down cycle setting use it each time you dry.
In the market for a new washer and dryer? Check out the list of ENERGY STAR appliances. You may also want to consider gas-powered and heat pump dryers since they tend to cost less to operate.
Adjust the Thermostat for School Time
In the summer, kids are home during the day so the AC is working overtime. Now that school’s back in session, the thermostat can be adjusted. Use your programmable thermostat to bump the temperature up while the kids are at school and adults are at work. Set it to cool back down a few degrees for about 30 minutes before school lets out.
Charge Devices More Efficiently
Even elementary students are now using tablets for schoolwork. And good luck getting your high schooler to put their smart phone down for a second. Charging all of those devices along with the TV, Blu-ray player and gaming consoles adds up on the electric bill. There are two options for reducing energy use while keeping everything powered up:
Smart power strip – Upgrade your regular power strip to cut down on needless energy use. A smart power strip can tell when a device goes into standby mode and will completely shut off the energy supply so vampire power isn’t a problem.
Solar chargers – Why spend money on electricity when you can harness the power of the sun? Solar chargers with 15 watts or more can recharge tablets or multiple smartphones at once. Even on the last day of September sunset in New England isn’t until 7:11pm. That gives you plenty of time after school to recharge and get homework done before bedtime. Bonus: solar chargers are great to take with you on the go when you won’t be near an outlet.
Save on energy during the entire school year with an affordable energy plan from Provider Power. We are a leading electric supplier in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts. Choose your state to see electric rates!