Improving home energy efficiency is a goal that appeals to many homeowners. Reducing costly energy bills while keeping the house a comfortable temperature is a must. Especially in the spring, when the freezing temperatures of winter may give way to a surprise heatwave, it’s essential to be able to keep your home both warm during cold temperatures and cool during hot ones.
And improving energy efficiency is good for the planet as well. Currently, the United States is home to just over 4% of the world’s population but accounts for about 17% of the world’s energy use. Reducing the amount of energy your home consumes helps you do your part to protect the environment.
What are some of the top energy-saving tips for spring? Read on to learn more.
Below are a few spring energy-saving tips from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and some of our own to help you conserve energy and lower your spring utility bills.
According to the EPA, installing and setting a programmable thermostat can help you save up to 10% a year on your heating and cooling costs. In the spring, with its wildly variable highs and lows, having a programmable thermostat to keep your home at a set temperature is invaluable.
In the spring, when the days are often still short, cloudy, and dark, energy-saving indoor lighting helps you conserve electricity and cut costs. The EPA reports that replacing just five light bulbs in your home with energy-saving bulbs could save you $75 a year in energy costs.
After the long, dark winter, natural light often feels like the best remedy. Letting natural light come in through your windows gives you a lovely natural view and also helps you use less energy for lighting. But what if keeping your curtains or blinds open allows too much heat to escape through the glass? In that case, invest in window treatments that can act as insulation to keep the warm air in while still offering the benefits of natural light.
Using a power strip to plug in several pieces of electronic equipment helps conserve energy as well. Using a power strip helps reduce phantom loads — that is, the energy use that occurs when a device is turned off but still plugged into an outlet. The EPA reports that taking this simple step can help you save up to $100 a year. Just remember to turn the power strip off when it is not in use. You can even find power strips that you can program to shut off at night when appliances and electronics aren’t in use!
Using ENERGY STAR appliances, electronics, and fans helps conserve energy as well. Switching to ENERGY STAR–certified products around your home can help you save substantial amounts — up to $750 over the lifespan of the appliances, according to the EPA.
Your water heater consumes a lot of energy, but taking a few simple steps can help you conserve. Lowering your water heater’s temperature by adjusting the dial on the heater is one excellent step. Another is to install low-flow shower heads that limit water flow and help conserve both water and energy.
If you have a ceiling fan, make sure it is turning in the correct direction for the season. A counterclockwise rotation will push cool air down to the floor level, whereas a clockwise rotation will push hot air down. In the winter and at the beginning of spring, you’ll want to set your ceiling fan to send as much hot air your way as possible. At the end of spring, when the weather is warmer, reverse the direction to keep cool without having to turn on the air conditioning.
As the spring weather starts to warm up, make sure you have an air conditioner that will help you conserve energy. You can tell the energy efficiency of an air conditioner by its energy efficiency ratio (EER). The energy efficiency ratio is a measure of the unit’s cooling capacity in British thermal units (Btu) per hour divided by the power usage in watts at 95 degrees. The seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) accounts for seasonal temperature changes by providing a ratio of the total heat removed during the season to the total power removed during the season. Choosing an air conditioner with a high EER or SEER can help you save energy and lower your air conditioning bills.
Weatherproof your windows, exterior doors, and garage door with weather stripping. Your garage, especially, is one of the main points where heat or cold air escapes from your home, so add weather stripping to help keep your home cozy and comfortable even in extreme temperatures. Using caulk for your windows is also an effective option. This low-cost solution can make a big difference.
Most people focus on their main living spaces when they’re trying to lower their energy bills, but your attic plays a significant role too. Trapped heat in your attic can seep down and warm the main part of your house, so consider adding ventilation to allow that trapped heat to escape. And insulation is always useful to keep your attic from warming up to begin with when the spring sunlight begins to grow strong.
As the spring weather gets warmer and you start thinking about picnics and potlucks, you may be opening your refrigerator door more frequently. This is a good time to make sure your refrigerator is in peak shape so it can keep your food cold with minimal energy expenditures. As you do your spring cleaning, don’t forget about your refrigerator’s condenser coils — the metal coils located either on the back or on the bottom of your refrigerator. If these coils get dirty, your refrigerator has to work harder to keep your food cool, so it requires extra energy. While you’re at it, make sure the seals on your refrigerator door are strong and tight to keep the cold air in.
This is one of the best energy efficiency tips for spring. A professional energy company can perform a helpful home audit to let you know where and how your current energy solutions are costing you money. And just like spring cleaning, a spring tuneup for your heating and cooling systems is an excellent idea. Regular maintenance and an annual change of air filters go a long way toward keeping your heating and cooling systems functioning at their peak. A professional energy company may also be able to customize the energy solutions that are right for your household and help you conserve even more.
Though all the tips above are useful methods for reducing your energy consumption and costs, one of the best energy-saving tips for spring and beyond is to get a home systems tune up and switch to Shipley Energy. A home systems tune up goes over your heating and cooling systems checking for inefficiencies and problems. By keeping your systems in top working order, you actually save energy and prevent costly failures. Shipley Energy provides home systems tune ups when you switch to our heating and air conditioning services. Our promise is efficient, reliable heating and cooling that can lower your utility bills and keep your home cozy both in the spring and all year long.
When you’re looking for ways to save energy this spring, let Shipley Energy help. We can deliver energy solutions for your home that keep you warm in the cold and cool in the heat, and our knowledgeable teams are here to answer questions and provide the dependable service you need.