7 Ways to be More Energy Efficient in the Spring
There are many ways we can be more energy efficient in our homes this spring and we can accomplish this by making just a few small changes to our homes and daily habits. The result is huge cost savings, while helping to protect and reduce our impact on our planet. Often, there’s an initial cost involved in transitioning to more energy efficient appliances, so be sure to check with your local community and government programs to see if they offer help to homeowners who want to start reducing energy waste and saving on energy bills.
1. Evaluate Your Daily Habits
Before investing in energy efficient products, examine your daily habits. Turn off lights and appliances when you aren’t using them. Conserve energy by reducing your reliance on energy-intensive appliances by doing some chores manually, such as hang-drying clothes instead of using the dryer or forgoing the dishwasher and washing dishes by hand. The biggest environmental adjustment that will provide the largest cost savings is using your air conditioner less in the spring and summer.
2. Replace Windows
Leaky windows not only make a home uncomfortable, but they can amount to a 10–25 percent increase in your heating or cooling bill. Replace old, leaky windows with double-pane windows, and if you live in extremely frigid areas, consider adding storm windows. Other options include adding window films to save energy and money.
3. Swap Out Light Bulbs
Traditional incandescent light bulbs consume an excessive amount of electricity, whereas ENERGY STAR light bulbs use 70–90 percent less energy and can last up to 15 to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs. While there is an initial expense in changing out all light bulbs, the overall cost savings and energy savings will pay off in the long run.
4. Upgrade Old Appliances
Washing machines, refrigerators, and dishwashers are the biggest energy hogs in your home, and their energy draw accounts for roughly 13 percent of the total energy used. If these appliances are old and need to be replaced, consider replacing them with ENERGY STAR certified ones. Before dropping a ton of money on a new appliance, see if your home warranty covers a replacement. While energy efficient models typically cost more upfront, they can provide a 9–25 percent reduction in operating costs.
5. Install a Programmable Thermostat
You already know that turning your heat down in the winter and air conditioning up in the spring and summer can help you save on energy costs. It’s even easier to make these adjustments with a programmable thermostat. Setting it to turn off automatically can reduce heating and cooling during the times when you’re consistently away from the home or when you’re asleep.
6. Properly Insulate Your Home
Without proper insulation, your home will leak hot and cool air and let non-conditioned air in, costing a lot of money. Check the R-value ratings in your location to determine the proper insulation for your climate. Check attic spaces, crawlspaces, and basements to ensure you have the proper amount of insulation recommended. Visit the Department of Energy’s website for guidelines and recommendations for proper insulation in your home.
7. Consider Water Flow
In addition to the air and climate settings in your home, examine all water sources. Upgrade to low-flow showerheads, ensuring a more efficient flow rate of water thereby reducing heating and less energy waste. You may also want to consider installing a low-flow toilet.
We all want to save money and help do our part to save the environment. These are just a few of the many ways you can upgrade your home and habits to take energy-save steps today.