Working on your spring cleaning to-do list? Consider these tips, which can help you make simple changes to save energy and money year-round.
While you are cleaning…
- Set your thermostat a few degrees higher and use ceiling fans – Each degree can affect your cooling costs by approximately five percent.
- For maximum savings, we recommend you set your air conditioner (A/C) to 78° F in the spring. Try 82° F or warmer when you’re away, and turn your thermostat fan to “auto”.
- Don’t forget to turn off your ceiling fan when you leave the room. A fan that runs all the time costs up to $7 a month.
As you go through the inside of your home…
- Change your air conditioning filter – As you wipe off that air conditioning grill, make a habit of changing your filter regularly. Select types can even be washed and re-used.
- Inspect your ceiling for duct leaks – If the ceiling is dirty around your air conditioning vents, this could be a sign that you have duct leaks. If so, contact an A/C contactor to perform a duct test.
- Keep air vents and doors open – Reducing air flow causes your air conditioner to operate less efficiently.
- Check your attic insulation – Proper attic insulation helps keep heat out of your home which can help save on both cooling and heating costs.
- Vacuum or brush the coils underneath and behind your refrigerator – Dust can easily build up on cooling coils, causing it to run less efficiently.
- Check for air leaks when cleaning your windows – Caulk, seal and weather-strip around all seams, cracks and openings to protect against drafts.
- Wipe away dirt and grime from the tracks of your sliding glass door – A dirty track can ruin the seal, creating gaps for air infiltration.
When cleaning your yard…
- Examine your air conditioner – Make sure the coils are clean and clear of plants and leaves. If the coils look dirty, you should call an A/C maintenance company to have your outdoor coils cleaned. Regular maintenance will ensure that your unit is working efficiently.
Take a trip to the home improvement store…
- Install power strips – Consolidate plugs by using power strips and switching them off when not in use. This will help reduce phantom loads and can help save up to $100 a year.
- Curious what a phantom load is? Energy phantoms or “phantom loads” come from many devices used in your home that consume electricity even when they are turned “off.” Current in the devices continue to flow, keeping them ready to operate at all times. That’s why adapters plugged into the wall feel slightly warm even when not in use.
- Upgrade your lighting with LEDs – Replace your bulbs with light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. LED bulbs last 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, so they’ll rarely need replacement. With energy savings of approximately 85%, they are a smart choice for lights you use several hours a day.
- Install a smart thermostat – Smart thermostats connect to the Internet and can be controlled from a smartphone or tablet. Install a smart thermostat and control the temperature in your home from wherever you are.
- Based on our research, a single family home can save an average of 450 kWh per year, which is about $50 per year or 3% of your total energy costs.
*Bonus Tip: When looking to replace appliances such as refrigerators, washers, dryers or dishwashers, look for the ENERGY STAR® label. These models run more efficiently and can save you $100 or more a year.