The winter months can seem to drag on as temperatures plummet and snow piles up outside. While this winter was relatively mild compared to others, the longer hours of darkness and closed up, stuffy homes still leave us yearning for fresher, warmer air.
Spring officially sprung on March 20th and now is the time to start thinking about spring cleaning! Here are some energy efficiency tips to keep in mind while you are preparing your home for the warmer months:
- Open windows. The number one thing we all want to do when the weather starts to get nice is open our windows. This is a great idea in the spring as it creates a cross-wise breeze, allowing for natural cooling of your living space without the use of an air conditioner.
- Use ceiling fans. After cleaning all of the dust off your ceiling fan blades, be sure to change the direction they spin to counterclockwise, as this will pull warm air upward. This may provide enough cooling to allow you to lower the temperature on your air conditioner by a few degrees, saving you money on your electric bill without sacrificing your family’s comfort.
- Clean and service your air conditioner. Before it really starts to heat up outside, perform maintenance on your air conditioner. By replacing or cleaning your system’s air filters you can ensure that it runs at peak performance all summer.
- Cover your windows. It’s not a myth that drapes can affect the temperature inside your home. Installing blinds, shades and films can slash heat gain when temperatures rise outside.
- Clean out your refrigerator. While you are cleaning the old food out of your refrigerator, you should also check the coils inside. When dust and pet hair build up on the condenser coils, the motor works harder and uses more electricity! By cleaning these coils, you can ensure that air can circulate freely without overworking the motor (and your wallet).
- Cook outside. ‘Tis the season for grilling! Make the most of the weather and keep the extra heat out of your home by cooking your meat and veggies outside.
- Think ENERGY STAR®. Are you considering replacing your air conditioner, washer, dryer or other household appliance? Look for the ENERGY STAR® label on new appliances to ensure that you are buying the most energy efficient product to keep your utility costs low.
Following these general energy efficiency guidelines when cleaning your home and preparing it for spring will save you money on your energy bills and keep your home comfortable throughout the months ahead.