Congratulations! You made it through winter. Say goodbye to your sky-high heating bills and hello to spring!
Unfortunately, you won’t be saying goodbye to your energy worries altogether, though. Before you know it, summer will be here. And depending on your climate, it may be time to kick on those cooling systems sooner rather than later.
So how can you be sure you’re not paying an arm and a leg for energy come spring and summer? (Oh, and that you’re doing your part to help the environment, too.)
Generally, the first thing you’ll need to do is inspect your home to see what kind of damage winter has done. Then you should consider employing one or all of the following tips:
Seal Any Cracks Around Doors and Windows
The trick to keeping your energy costs down during spring is to try and maintain a consistent temperature. Nothing causes your utility bills to soar quite like leaks. Check for gaps along door frames and window sills, especially on the outside walls.
You can do this by simply caulking the edges to fill any cracks that may be there and by applying energy-efficient window treatments to prevent air from escaping. This also has the added benefit of allowing your home to heat up and cool down at a faster rate.
Check Your Thermostat
During winter you may have set your programmable thermostat to the optimal 68 degrees and left it at that. Depending on where you live, you may still experience strong chills and springtime showers deep into the season. If this happens, you’ll need to rely on your home’s heating system.
Additionally, you’ll want to open the windows when you’re inside and avoid heating or cooling your home with appliances while you’re out to reduce your overall energy consumption.
Keep Your AC Units Clean
Whether you have central air installed or make use of a window unit, your air conditioner is bound to see more use in spring. The trick to saving money on those hot days when it becomes an absolute must is controlling air flow.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can potentially save 5 to 10 percent by replacing your AC’s filter so that it works more efficiently. Do this, and you’re guaranteed to see a noticeable drop in your next utility bill.
Combine AC Use With Ceiling Fans
Consider installing a few ceiling fans if you have the space available. They are generally cheap to run and can be used proactively to circulate the cold air coming from your AC system. This will allow you to raise the thermostat setting by about four degrees with no reduction in comfort.
Lower Your Home’s Water Temperature
Now that the colder months are over, early mornings should be a much easier time to get through. If you’re especially fond of your hot showers, make it a point to set a slightly lower temperature on your water heater. A small change like this can make a huge difference in the long run – you’ll be glad you did.
Naturalize Your Home
Now that consumers have realized the importance of being environmentally-friendly, prices on energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly options have become much more competitive and there has never been a better time to splurge on making your home more energy efficient.
In fact, more and more people are turning towards green home remodeling to make their homes more sustainable – not to mention more comfortable — to live in throughout the year.
The initial outlay may seem counterintuitive, but in the long-run you can typically expect to lower your energy consumption by thirty to fifty percent. In addition to these savings, you may even qualify for energy-efficiency discounts on your home insurance policy.
Ultimately, making small changes to your heating and cooling habits in combination with a few minor improvements or renovations will help you to cut costs and save more money this spring and summer.