As spring approaches and the days get warmer, you’re probably going to find that your energy costs are rising. You are spending more and more money on air conditioning and related expenses. However, for many, this serves as a wake-up call to start saving energy or to continue to increase their energy savings if they have already started building energy-efficient habits. If you want ways to save energy at home this spring, it’s not too late to learn how! Take a look at the following tips:
Manage Your Heating and Cooling Systems
Air conditioning consumes more power than anything else in your home, and as spring warms up and turns into summer, you’re going to find yourself using it more and more. However, there are ways to cut back on your air conditioning costs, cut back on your energy bill, and help the environment by investing in more energy-efficient forms of heating and cooling. For example, you can start by setting your thermostat as high as you are willing to go – although it may be a bit less comfortable, those few degrees make a big difference in terms of energy costs.
Check the thermostat
The temperature that you set your thermostat to varies depending on whether you will be at home or not. When you are away, you should keep your house warmer than normal by turning off the thermostat altogether or raising the temperature on it. When you are at home, you can lower it to a more comfortable 78 degrees Fahrenheit, but that should be the lowest that it goes. Consider investing in a programmable thermostat so that you don’t have to worry about raising and lowering the temperature every time you go out or come back in.
Service air conditioning
Take spring as an opportunity to service your air conditioning system to make sure that it is running as efficiently as possible. Replacing or cleaning air filters can lower your cooling system’s energy consumption by up to 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. You should also make sure to clean your air conditioner’s evaporator coil at least once a year, and spring is a good time to do so!
Cool down in other ways
There are also several ways to lower the temperature in your home without using so much energy. Start with opening windows to allow cross-breezes to waft through and cool the interior of your house. Use ceiling fans and bathroom fans, which direct warm and humid air out of your home instead of letting it build up inside. Also, avoid cooking indoors in order to prevent the heat from raising the indoor temperature.
Other Easy Ways to Save
The ongoing need for heating and air conditioning makes temperature control an obvious cost to try to reduce. However, there are other easy ways to save energy and money this spring.
Consider your lighting
Most people know that the type of light bulbs they have determine how much energy they will consume, and that’s why most people have already switched to more energy-efficient CFL bulbs from traditional ones. However, few people make the connection between light and heat. Incandescent lights convert only about 10 to 15 percent of the electricity that they consume into light – the rest is released as heat. By purchasing more energy-efficient, cooler light bulbs, you can save on energy costs by reducing heat in your home – using less energy on air conditioning.
Prevent air leaks
If you’re going to expend energy to air condition your home, you’re going to want to make sure that the cool air does not escape and the heat is not allowed back in, as this simply doubles the work that your air conditioner has to do. As a result, prevent air leaks by using fast and inexpensive techniques such as sealing and insulating air ducts, installing window treatments, and caulking any leaks that you do find. You can try weatherstripping your windows and doors so that you have an extra layer of protection, much as you would do in the winter to stop warm air from exiting your home (and save energy costs that way).
Audit Your Home or Business
To find out how much energy you can realistically save – and where your current energy problems are within your home or business – consider getting an energy audit.
What to expect during an audit
Auditors will inspect your private or commercial building to figure out where you are losing the most energy, how much this is costing you per year, and what you can do to improve in the future. The best part of an energy audit is that it gives personalized instructions on what exactly you need to do to save energy this spring, rather than just providing generic advice on energy tips that anyone can use.
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