The spring season is upon us, and for most households, that means carving out chunks of time to do some much-needed spring cleaning. Along with taking care of all the fun stuff like cleaning out closets and organizing the garage, it’s also a good time to take stock of how energy efficient your home is – or possibly isn’t. Below are some tried-and-true tips to help you ensure that your home is utilizing energy as efficiently as possible.
1. Make the switch to energy-efficient light bulbs.
Traditional incandescent light bulbs expend a lot of energy to produce light, emitting 90% of their energy as heat. This can increase your monthly utility bill and raise the temperature inside your home, making it more difficult to cool as the weather begins to warm up outside. By switching to LED bulbs, you can get the same amount of light for significantly less money. Try switching out your most frequently used lighting fixtures with bulbs that have an ENERGY STAR certification to improve the energy efficiency of your home, while also keeping more money in your pocket.
2. Change the direction of your ceiling fans.
The spring season typically introduces warmer weather into the mix, but even though the weather will begin to warm up slightly, you don’t want to start running your air conditioner unnecessarily. This is where ceiling fans can really come in handy. One great way to keep the cool air circulating properly is to make sure your ceiling fans are rotating in the right direction. During the winter months, they should rotate in a counterclockwise direction to keep the rising warm air flowing downward. As the warmer spring weather arrives, your fans should be rotating clockwise to produce the opposite result. Most ceiling fans have a simple toggle switch (typically right below where the blades rotate) that can allow you to change their rotational direction. Just flip the switch, and you’re good to go!
3. Seal any air leaks.
One of the best ways to maintain your home’s energy efficiency is to ensure that conditioned air is not seeping out through poorly sealed areas of the home, such as windows and doors. Invest in some quality weather-stripping, caulking, and other sealing aids to help you keep the cool air in and the warm air out. This will ultimately save you money and make your home more comfortable as well.
4. Change your furnace filter.
A dirty or clogged furnace filter puts more strain on your HVAC system, which means it will have to work harder to produce the same level of air. By swapping out the old filter for a clean, new one, you will improve the quality of the air in your home while boosting the efficiency of your HVAC system as well.
5. Clean the lint filter in your dryer.
This is a deceptively easy task to overlook, but it can really make a difference in how much energy your dryer will require to do its job. Don’t forget to pull that lint filter out and clean it before every drying cycle for optimal results.
6. Upgrade to energy efficient appliances.
Appliances typically account for roughly one-third of your home’s energy usage, so it only makes sense to utilize appliances that will give you the most bang for your buck. Consider replacing older, outdated appliances with newer models that meet current standards for energy efficiency.
All of us would like to know how to reduce our utility costs and make our home as energy efficient as possible. Get Efficient, a nonprofit that is dedicated to helping homeowners become energy efficient, can help you get started. Our quick and easy online Home Energy Assessment will provide you with tips and recommendations to help you improve the energy efficiency of your home, completely free of charge. Click this link to get started, so you can keep more money in your pocket this spring season!