Spring is the perfect time to re-evaluate your energy consumption (align it with spring cleaning) and prepare your home for the extreme weather ahead. It’s a timely season to establish how you can save energy, such making a few structural changes to your home or investing in home energy upgrades that focus on efficient energy use.
Here are 12 effective tips on how to cut your energy costs all year round:
1. Upgrade to High-Efficiency Cooling, Heating and Ventilation Systems.
Using high efficiency furnace venting makes sure acidic water is directed out of your home properly so it doesn’t cause structural damage.
Quality vent pipes and correct furnace venting installation are essential to the reliable and energy-efficient performance of your furnace.
2. Have Your AC Checked and Cleaned.
This will make sure that the system will work efficiently without burning up too much energy. Cleaning your AC unit will get rid of anything that may be blocking air pathways that make the system work harder and prone to damage.
Plus, if there are parts with signs of damage, you can have them repaired or replaced to support the optimum performance of your AC.
3. Use Electric Fans.
It’s not yet scorching hot this season so instead of keeping the AC on the whole time to create ideal indoor temperature, use electric fans. These will circulate air in the room and help maintain a comfortable interior environment.
Electric fans don’t use much energy so on a refreshingly cool day; use them instead of your AC. Or, use them to assist your AC in distributing cooled air faster throughout a room.
4. Improve Air Sealing in Your Home.
Air leaks have your HVAC system working double time, thus consuming more energy. Air sealing will definitely help take care of those air leaks especially in your attic.
“With air sealing, you can actually slice as much as $150 a year from your energy bill.”
It’s important to note as well that air sealing can also make your home healthier because it will keep contaminants, small pests and weather elements out.
5. Add More Insulation in Your Attic.
This can save five percent of total energy costs and also improve interior comfort throughout the different seasons. Extra insulation is recommended if your current insulation is less than R-30 (11 inches of fiberglass or rock wool or 8 inches of cellulose).
6. Seal Ducts Better.
Poor ductwork also results in air loss can result in high electricity cost. It can also create other problems such as an infestation of small insects (especially in the spring when many of them are more active and aggressive), which can be costly to control.
When you have your AC on, it’s best to ensure its energy efficiency by turning off appliances that emit heat because those can influence a thermostat.
Appliances that should be used minimally on a hot day are your desktop computer, TV and lamps.
8. Use Natural Lighting on a Cool Day.
Spring still has some cool days and you better take advantage of them if you wish to cut energy costs. Instead of turning on your indoor lights, use natural bright light that can come in from your windows and doors.
9. Use Natural Ventilation.
If your windows and doors are screened, why not enjoy the cool outdoor breeze every now and then? Open doors and windows to let outdoor air ventilate your home.
With the screens serving as a filter, you can keep insects out as you enjoy fresh air flowing in from outside.
10. Set the thermostat to a higher setting on a warm day.
Summer temperatures will definitely creep in this spring and on days when they do, it’s best to set your HVAC system’s thermostat to a higher setting especially when you’re not at home.
This strategy can save energy by around 10 percent.
11. Rearrange Your Furniture.
Make sure your vents are not blocked with heavy furniture such as tables and couches. Also, if you have window AC units, keep them away from TVs and other appliances that heat up when used.
12. Install Awnings Over Your Windows.
With more sunny days up ahead, your home can gain a lot of heat from your windows. Installing awnings and other protective window treatments can reduce heat gain by as much as 70 percent. This will help support the proper functioning of your HVAC system especially on a really warm day.
There are still so many things you can do to save energy this spring especially if you direct attention toward your home’s HVAC system.
Contact an HVAC professional for more strategies that you can implement to save energy on your HVAC system and also other components of your home.