The first spring day is one of many things that will prepare you to jump into action this March. The warmer weather brings an opportunity to start being more eco-conscious and cutting back on your energy consumption—which, let’s be real, you’ve been meaning to do all winter long. These 9 tips will help you use less energy around the house and start saving money in the process.
Most importantly, they are easy to implement right away! So what are you waiting for? Spring into action!
Tune up your air conditioner
The most important step to save energy is to tune up your air conditioner. One way to do this is by replacing the filters at least once a month.
When installing a new filter, ensure that it fits securely in the unit and that there are no holes or tears in it. If you find any problems, contact a professional immediately so they can fix them for you.
Additionally, if you have central air, change the filters on time. Remember that even though your system may not be turning on because it’s still cool outside, that doesn’t mean it’s not using any power–so pay attention!
Check for air leaks and seal them
Be sure to check for air leaks and seal them up. This is a good idea all year long, especially when windows and doors are opened more often in the spring.
An easy way to seal the leak may save you money on your utility bill. If you need help with what needs to be done, call a professional for help.
Open windows and use ceiling fans
Open up your windows and use ceiling fans as much as possible throughout the day. If you don’t have central air, open a window at night to allow cool air during the evening hours.
Open windows during the day when you don’t need air conditioning or heating—at night, when it’s cooler outside than inside, close them up and turn on your AC or heat.
Weatherstripping seals the inside of your door to keep warm air in and cold air out. Weatherstripping creates a tight seal that can decrease drafts by 25% when properly installed. That’s a lot of additional cash in your wallet! Weatherstripping is inexpensive and easy to install, so there’s no excuse not to do it. Here are 2 simple installation steps:
- Cut the weatherstrips to fit the width of the door frame on both sides of the frame and at the top and bottom.
- Apply a thin bead of silicone adhesive along each side of the weatherstrip (except where it will be glued).
Turn off your oven and try cooking outside! Exploring new recipes and experimenting with different flavors is a great way.
Plus, there are so many ways to cook without using the stove or oven:
on a gas grill, in a pot on the grill, in the coals of a fire pit, or even in an old-fashioned cast iron skillet (find one that will work on your grill).
Depending on what you’re cooking, it may be best to use oil or butter for flavor.
Check Your Thermostat
Check your thermostat. Before turning up the thermostat for warmer weather, ensure everyone who lives at your house is aware of the change and has adjusted their schedule accordingly. You don’t want to come home from work one day expecting 72 degrees only to find someone cranked up the heat when you were out of town!
Clean your Refrigerator
Your refrigerator is one of the most important appliances in your home and can take up a lot of space.
That’s why it’s important to clean it regularly. Not only will you eliminate any funky smells, but you’ll also save on your utility bills.
Here are some steps to make cleaning your fridge quick and easy:
- Remove all food from the refrigerator and freezer compartments to avoid spilling stuff on surfaces
- Dispose of anything that has spoiled
- Clean the inside surfaces with soap and water or a natural degrease
- Use stainless steel cleaner for fingerprints
- Wipe down the outside surfaces
- Clean coils
- Check gaskets
- Dry everything off
- Put everything back
- Check for leaks
- Turn the fridge back on
Ventilate Your Attic
Ventilating your attic is one of the easiest ways to reduce the energy you spend cooling and heating your house.
Attics are usually hot in the summer and cold in the winter because they’re insulated from outside air, which means that all that heat or cold stays put.
You can ventilate your attic by installing vents on soffits, or a fan can pull up hot air and let it escape through an opening at the top of your roof.
Make sure that if you install soffits, they’re not too close to any shingles; otherwise, moisture will get caught between them and cause mold growth.
Wash your clothes in cold water
You can save up to 50% on your electric bill by washing your clothes in cold water.
All you need is a little patience and some elbow grease. With the right detergent, your clothes look as good as new!
- Reduce the amount of electricity used during peak times by switching from lights to candles or installing dimmer switches.
- Wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot – save you up to 50% on your electric bill and make them last longer too!
- Insulate your home as much as possible during winter for maximum savings.
- Use a programmable thermostat to turn down the heat when you’re not home or asleep.