One of the great things about solar energy is that it can provide power for us 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you have a home solar system, it’s likely that you’re already concerned about energy efficiency. Not only can conserving energy allow you to reduce your carbon footprint, but it can also allow you to save money in the long run.

That said, you might be struggling to keep your energy use low right now — even with existing solar panel installation. With many of us working from home or furloughed for the foreseeable future, our energy use is likely to spike during the day.

We’re all struggling to adapt to this new normal. But you can ensure your solar systems function at their best if you can watch your energy use while you shelter in place. Here are just a few energy-saving tips for you to keep in mind during the pandemic.

  • Turn off electronics when not in use: You’re probably relying on electronics more frequently now than ever. You might be using your home computer to work or your kids might be utilizing electronics to attend virtual classes. At night, you’re likely binge-watching some form of entertainment. One small step to save some energy is to turn off and unplug electronics when they aren’t in use. If your laptop is charged and you aren’t using it, unplug the charging cable. Or if you’re accustomed to keeping the TV on for background noise while you make dinner, consider turning it off to conserve energy. You’ll probably never notice the difference — except when you see what your monthly energy use has become.
  • Make use of natural light: It makes sense to turn lights off when you leave a room, but you might be able to refrain from switching on every lamp in the house each day. Since the days are longer now, you should try to make use of what natural light you have. Just as your residential solar system takes advantage of available sunlight, you can keep curtains and blinds open whenever possible. Not only can this lower your energy use, but it can allow you to get a dose of vitamin D without venturing outside.
  • Run major appliances at night: When the weather turns warm, it’s a good idea to avoid using major appliances — like the washer and dryer — during the day. Since using these appliances will increase the temperature of your home, your air conditioning system will have to work harder to maintain a comfortable environment. But if you use them at night, your HVAC system won’t need to use as much energy. Cooking or baking should be done in the evening for this reason, as well. Of course, try to minimize your use of these items altogether in order to save energy.

Installing a residential solar system is already a great way to save energy, but there’s more you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. Since you’re probably at home more these days, you can take note of how your habits impact energy use and be proactive in your conservation.