“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” Hal Borland
Spring Has Sprung!
Each year, after enduring the coldest days of the year, we welcome spring and its promise of warmer weather, longer days, greener grass, and sunshine. The start of the new season is a perfect opportunity to consider making small changes to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Energy bills account for some of the most substantial monthly costs for many folks, so homeowners should jump at the opportunity to reduce them while improving the environment through the reduction of greenhouse gases. Below we have outlined simple, yet effective, ways to impvoe energy efficiency with our spring energy-saving tips.
Spring Energy Saving Tips:
1. Clean and service your air conditioner
The average home spends about 12% of its total energy usage on air conditioning. Clutter and debris can affect your air conditioning unit’s efficiency, meaning it has to work harder to keep your home cool. Clear away leaves from inside or around the unit and dust, vacuum, or spray the condenser fins to remove remaining dirt and debris. While replacing your air filters on a monthly basis is lowering energy consumption, having your air condition services by a professional can optimize its performance and ensure its longevity.
2. Open windows
Switch off your HVAC system and let nature heat and cool your home. Not only will this help lower your energy bills, it will also allow your home to air out any built-up pollutants or humidity.
3. Adjust your ceiling fan
Make sure your ceiling fans are running in the right direction for the season. A counterclockwise rotation will push cool air down toward the floor, whereas a clockwise rotation will push hot air down. This simple adjustment can enable you to raise your thermostat by four degrees and still lower your energy bills over time.
4. Lower your water heater temperature
As the warm weather returns, it could be time to lower your water heater temperature. According to the Department of Energy, your hot water heater could cost you more than $400 annually. Turning down the temperature by 20 degrees could bring that cost down and will not have a big impact on how hot your water feels. What’s more, it will also mean your water heater won’t need to work as long and will use less electricity.
5. Cook outside
On warmer days, keep the heat out of your home by firing up the grill and cooking outdoors. By moving the cooking outside, you will use less energy by not heating up the oven and running the air conditioner more strenuously to counteract the increased temperatures inside.
6. Utilize bathroom fans
Homes are constructed to be very tight and energy efficient, and bathroom fans are one of the most effective tools for circulating air in your home. Bathroom fans suck the heat and humidity out of your home, improving indoor air quality and comfort.
7. Seal air leaks
Use caulk to seal cracks and openings around your home to keep temperatures more consistent and not lose any of the conditioned air to the outside. Not only will this make your home more comfortable and less drafty, but it will also save money. Unsure of how to properly air seal your home? Call on our team of professionals to help get the job done!
8. Inspect your home’s roof and siding
The rain, snow, and ice that come with winter weather can cause damage to your home’s roof and siding Subtle shifts in shingles and siding can lead to penetrations where air can enter and exit your home, making it leaky and inefficient. Not to mention, these small gaps can allow bugs and creatures into your home – yuck! Repair what you are able to, or call a professional to help make sure your roof and siding are ready for the warm sunny days ahead.
9. Use a programmable thermostat
Having a programmable thermostat in your home can reduce your annual heating and cooling costs by 10%. In the spring, where temperatures can vary widely and wildly, having a programmable thermostat to keep your home at a set temperature is very beneficial. Plus, many energy providers provide discounts and/or incentives to homeowners to switch to a programmable thermostat.
10. Understand your home’s energy usage
Understanding where and how you are using the most energy can help to make it easier to see where you can reduce your energy consumption. When you’re looking to save energy this spring, one of the best things you can do is consult with your energy provider(s) to tap into their home energy audit programs. Many utility companies provide this helpful service at little to no cost, and the outcome can provide lasting improvements to your home’s energy consumption.