Spring is here! But with warmer weather comes higher energy costs. Don’t sweat it because we’re going to show you how reducing your energy bill can be easy, with most requiring almost no effort at all.
1. Clean Your Air Conditioner
Rising temperatures mean you’ll be relying more on your air conditioner than furnace to control temperatures in your home. Unfortunately, winter storms take a toll on air conditioners. They generally wind up clogged with debris, so clean it out before switching it on. Wipe down the coils. Check the drain. And rake up leaves or twigs around the unit. Trim back the bushes as well, to make sure nothing else gets inside and clogs the filter. Click here for more details.
2. Adjust Your Thermostat
Don’t waste money cooling an empty house. Turn your thermostat up a few degrees whenever you leave (72°F – 78°F is recommended). A higher setting means your air conditioner runs less, shaving up to 10 percent off your energy bill.
To save effort, consider installing a programmable thermostat. Enter the times when you’re out and it will automatically adjust the temperature for you. You can even set it to start cooling before you get home. With a few clicks of a button your home is both more comfortable and more efficient.
3. Open Your Windows
Air conditioners are powerful, but they’re not the only way to control temperature. Windows are equally effective. Opening two on opposite sides of your home creates a cross breeze that dispels heat and keeps you cool, even when it’s hot outside.
4. Cover Your Windows
Curtains, drapes, and blinds make air conditioners more efficient. Nothing raises temperatures faster than sunlight. Shutting it out eases the burden on your cooling system, allowing it to maintain a comfortable environment with less energy.
5. Turn On Your Ceiling Fans
Circulating air is a great way to cool off. Turning your fans to their fastest speed often means you can raise your thermostat a few degrees and give your air conditioner a break. Don’t forget about your bathroom fans either. They suck out heat and humidity, ensuring stable temperatures throughout your home.
6. Turn Down Your Water Heater
Now that warm weather is approaching, you probably won’t need piping hot water as much as you did before. Lowering the temperature on your water heater to 120°F saves energy without disrupting your comfort or depriving you of hot showers.
7. Clean Your Fridge
Your fridge can’t circulate air if it’s overstocked. Filling every nook and cranny forces the motor into overdrive. It’s worth taking a moment, therefore, to do a little spring cleaning. Go through your fridge and see if there’s anything worth jettisoning.
Leftovers, old condiments, and anything with mold should be chucked immediately. If there’s nothing you don’t need, delay your next grocery trip until you’ve eaten your way through your food stores. When do you shop, never fill your fridge more than two-thirds full. When a fridge is well-stocked, each item helps chill the one next to it.
8. Cook Outside
Now that days are bright and sunny, it’s time to fire up your grill. Grilling is not only fun, it saves energy. Ovens and stoves generate heat and strain your air conditioner. Cooking outside transfers this heat outdoors, where it can’t affect your home or cooling system.
If you need propane for your grill, don’t forget Suburban Propane can help you out. Refilling is more economical than replacing. Visit suburbanpropane.com to see if there is a cylinder refill service center near you.
9. Seal Air Leaks
Leaks make it impossible to maintain a stable temperature without constantly running your air conditioner. Most leaks occur around windows and doors. Cracks in the frame allow cool air to escape and invite warm air in. Fortunately, the solution is simple. A little caulk will seal a crack in seconds and costs only a few dollars.
To determine whether your house leaks, close the doors and windows, turn off your fans and air conditioner, and light an incense candle next to your window or door frame. If the smoke wavers, there’s a leak.
10. Examine Your Roof
Winter’s rough on roofs. Snow, ice, wind, rain, and hail can open cracks and dislodge shingles, allowing air to escape. Before things get too hot, climb up and take a look at your roof. Pay close attention to the chimney, vents, and seams. (Seams around metal panels are particularly prone to leaks.) Small leaks can be sealed with caulk. For major damage, such as missing shingles, algae, or buckling, consult a professional.