Prepare Your Home for Spring with 11 Energy Saving Tips

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March is the start of spring, when the weather warms up (hopefully) and you can start enjoying outdoor activities again. To prepare for the changeover it’s a good idea to get your house ready for the new season and save money on your energy usage. Here are 11 tips that will help you get your home ready for spring.

  1. Organize and declutter your rooms. Time to store your winter clothes. Put bulky sweaters and coats into airtight bins until next winter. It’s also a good time to figure out what you don’t wear any more. Donate what you don’t use. When you declutter a room, organize what’s left for storage or later use.
  2. Inspect caulking around doors, windows and other openings in your house. Winter can separate or erode caulking but it can easily be fixed with external silicone caulking or sealant.
  3. Check insulation around doors and windows. Your windows and doors should be properly insulated to keep warm air out. Make sure that the weather stripping on your door is intact and the seal around the door is good. Check the seals around the windows to make sure there is no splitting of cracking.
  4. Change the direction of your ceiling fans. In Winter the fan speed should be set to low and turn clockwise to help draw room air up towards the ceiling and force the warm air out and down. It’s the opposite for summer. During the summer months the fan should be blowing straight down (blades turning counter-clockwise) to help cool you off. Using your fan instead of an air conditioner can save you money.
  5. Clean your dryer vents. Clogged dryer vents can cause warm air to blow back in to the room. A quick cleaning can prevent this.
  6. Service HVAC units regularly. In summer you want your air conditioning system’s operating at peak efficiency. That won’t happen if you have blocked air filters. In spring and summer allergen levels are higher, so remember to replace your filter about every 60 days.
  7. Switch to compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs will save you a lot on energy costs. They also give off less heat than regular incandescent bulbs.
  8. Cool off your attic. In summer your attic becomes a hot box. Installing a vent can pull that hot air off the ceiling. A fan will also help keep your attic cooler. Another way to cool things down is to add insulation if needed. Insulation helps save energy because it acts as a barrier. In winter it keeps heat in and during the summer it keeps heat out. Make sure to seal your attic first to prevent air leaks before adding the insulation. Caulking or weather stripping all cracks and openings will do the trick.
  9. Make your kitchen energy efficient. It takes a lot of electricity to keep your kitchen going. Consider upgrading your appliances with an Energy Star labeled model. The replacement will use 40% less energy than conventional models sold before 2001. You should also replace all lighting in the kitchen with CFL’s, which use less energy and generate less heat.
  10. Make your living room energy efficient. Your living room also uses a lot of energy. Remember to turn off lights and any devices when they are not in use. Even in stand-by mode, electronic devices will use electricity unless they are completely shut off. Although it can be pricey to upgrade electronics like a TV or recording device, replacing old equipment with “Energy Star” labeled units will make a big difference in the amount of energy you use.
  11. Make your garage energy efficient. The garage can be one of the biggest sources of energy drain in your home if it isn’t sealed properly. Adding a weather strip to the bottom of the garage door and the door entering your home will help tremendously because it will prevent outside air from coming in and air conditioned air from escaping. If you have a refrigerator or freezer in your garage, make sure you have a model that can hold up to extreme temperatures. In summer a normal fridge or freezer has to work harder to stay cold and will use a lot more energy.

 

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