Day: March 16, 2017
When you ask people if they’d like to save more on energy, the vast majority are going to answer yes. It could be financially motivated or a desire to live a more green lifestyle. No matter what your reasoning is, there are a lot of things you could do right now during your spring cleaning to improve efficiency.
If you enjoyed our winter energy saving tips, check out these suggestions for spring.
Get an Energy Audit from an Electric Company
Homeowners that want to get serious about energy efficiency should look into getting an energy audit. During a home energy audit, a professional from a private business or electric company will examine how much energy you currently use and assess the house from top to bottom. They’ll provide notes on all of the energy improvements that can be made to increase efficiency. You can learn more about finding and comparing electric providers here.
Have Your Air Conditioner Serviced by a Professional
Spring is the best time to have your air conditioner serviced. During the hot summer months, air conditioner technicians are extremely busy, and you don’t want to be without climate control.
A technician will check all of the equipment and tune-up where needed. They’ll also be able to recharge the refrigerant, which can significantly improve efficiency. Between the improved efficiency and reduced wear on equipment, getting your air conditioner serviced could actually pay for itself. Without regular maintenance, an AC system can lose up to 5% efficiency each year it’s in use.
Cook Outside More Often
As soon as daylight savings rolls around you know it’s grilling season. You’ll have enough light left after work to cook a meal on the grill and avoid heating up the kitchen inside. Accessories like outdoor woks and smokers can expand your outdoor cooking options beyond the grill.
Use the Oven Less
The oven and stovetop can add a substantial amount of heat to the kitchen while you’re cooking. In addition to cooking outside more often, you can also change up your cooking methods to minimize heating up your house.
· Make cold meals, like sandwiches, salads and gazpacho.
· Use a crockpot to cook meats.
· Use a toaster oven for heating small meals.
Reprogram Your Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can help you increase air conditioning efficiency by 10%. But you have to program the thermostat properly for optimal energy savings. Follow these best practices when you’re creating a spring thermostat schedule:
· Try to set the temperature no lower than 78° F.
· Bump the temperature up to 85° F when no one is home but your pets.
· Bump the temperature up a few degrees higher when no one is home if you have no pets.
· If you’re going on a vacation use the hold feature to keep the house at an energy efficient temperature while you’re away.
During the spring, minimize your AC use altogether by opening a few windows in the early morning and evening. The cooler air can circulate through improving the air quality while making the house more comfortable.
Weatherize Around Doors and Windows
If you didn’t weatherize around the doors and windows before winter it’s a good time to go buy some weather stripping and caulk. In a matter of minutes, you can plug up air leaks that are costing you money and wasting energy.
Clean the Vents, Filters and Fans
While you’re spring cleaning, pay special attention to the fans, vents, and filters. Gunk and grim can decrease airflow and reduce efficiency.
· The air filter for the AC vent should be changed or cleaned (depending on model) at least once every 1-2 months.
· Make sure vents are fully opened in rooms that are frequently used and closed in rooms that aren’t.
· Clean ceiling fans thoroughly and make sure they are switched so the blades move in a counterclockwise direction to push air down.
The breeze from the fan doesn’t actually change the temperature of the air but it does make skin feel cooler. With fans going you should be able to increase the thermostat temperature by four degrees without feeling a difference. Just remember to turn them off when there’s no one in a room.