Ah, springtime! The birds are singing, the sun is shining, and you’re ready to throw open the windows to let a cool breeze come in through your entire house. As the weather warms and you spend more time outdoors, your home energy needs change. Instead of running that heater 24/7 and keeping the windows shut tight, you’ll transition to more energy usage aimed at keeping your family cool and welcoming the delightful fresh air from outside. Before you open the windows and launch into your annual spring cleaning, consider these tips for a greener home this spring.
Your biggest fan
One of the best ways to stave off using the air conditioner on those days that start pleasant but have your home sweltering by noon is to use fans around the house to help cool down.
Using fans while you’re in a room will give you a cool breeze to help you stay comfortable. Fans are also a better option for bedrooms as they help keep you cool during sleep without having to turn on the air for a cool night’s sleep.
Make your windows work for you
Open your windows to take advantage of the comfortable spring temps and lovely breeze to cool your home. Open windows can buy you even a few months of nearly free temperature control without having to run the air conditioning to stay cool.
Energy-efficient window coverings
While you’re thinking about windows, consider adding energy-efficient window coverings to keep the sun from baking rooms that are exposed at the heat of the day. Additionally, efficient window coverings help to keep the house warmer on cool mornings, and that helps you to resist the urge to turn on the heater.
Get your air conditioner serviced
Have your air conditioner professionally serviced before you rely on it to cool your family during the summer.
A maintained unit runs much more efficiently than one that’s overdue for routine maintenance. Make sure to fit it into your spring schedule.
Change your lighting
Take advantage of spring’s longer days and take stock of the lights in your home. Change your light bulbs to more energy-efficient bulbs, such as LED ones, that use less electricity and offer brighter light.
Turn it off
When you’re not in the room, be sure to turn out the light. This is a pretty easy way to save a few cents here and there which certainly adds up over time. Plus, it’s kinder to the environment.
An easy way to keep the lights off is to utilize bright sunshine during the day. Open the curtains and let the sunlight up your rooms naturally.
Improve your insulation
Insulation keeps your home at a comfortable temperature by keeping the heat in during winter and keeping the cool air in during summer. If your insulation isn’t doing it’s job, you may want to replace it or add more of it to keep your home’s temperature under control.
Check the attic
The attic is a common place where insulation issues may occur, so check it out if you think your home needs an insulation update.
Check your appliances
Your appliances are huge contributors to your home’s overall energy output. Consider investing in Energy Star-rated appliances to help cut down on the energy used by your refrigerator, dishwasher and washing machine.
Additionally, make sure that appliances are off and unplugged when not in use. This goes not only for the big ones, but smaller kitchen appliances and household electronics that use energy when they’re plugged in but not operating.
Fill in the cracks
Gaps between your home’s interior and exterior can let indoor air escape, making your air conditioner or furnace work harder while driving up your electric bill. Take time to look under windows and around walls to see any cracks. Caulk or fill them accordingly.
If you have a garage, check around doors and add weatherproofing strips to help regulate the garage’s temperature. This helps to keep your overall home temperature at a more consistent level.
Save energy on cooking
Cooking uses a ton of energy, so reducing the time spent using appliances in your kitchen helps you save energy. Find ways to cut down on the number of meals you make with your oven and opt to use the microwave or toaster oven instead, if possible.
Take meals outdoors, too, by firing up the grill and cooking a meal or a week’s worth of meat in one grilling session. Cooking outdoors keeps your home from warming too much and reduces the amount of air conditioning that you need to use.
Now that spring is in the air, there are many ways to save energy and reduce your energy use. Considering scheduling a home energy audit to learn more about simple, low-cost ways to go green and help lower your utility bills.
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