6 Simple Steps for Saving Energy In Your Home This Spring
Your spring-cleaning regimen should include more than just cluttered or dusty spaces. As you usher in this new season, it’s the perfect time to re-evaluate your home’s energy usage and give that a spring cleaning, too. Even if you’re already eco-friendly and aware of your abode’s efficiency, there’s something you can do with the changing of every season to make it that much better. Here’s where to start this spring:
1. Use Your Windows to Your Advantage
In winter, you wanted your windows and curtains closed to keep cold drafts at bay. Now, though, as temperatures rise, you can whip back those curtains and let the light in – a great boon to your energy-efficiency goals. For one thing, you won’t have to turn lights on during the day with natural sunlight flooding in to illuminate your home. On top of that, you can open your windows on days when the weather is just right to let that temperature into your home instead of firing up your air conditioner. Just make sure you clean your screens first so that the air comes in without bringing dirt build-up with it.
2. Give Your Air Conditioner a Check-Up
We’re heading into the prime air-conditioning times of the year; however, the machinery isn’t as vital at the start of spring, when temperatures rise and drop with the sunshine and rainfall. So, make sure you give your device a refresh to ensure it’s in working order by the time you depend on it.
Some of the maintenance you can do yourself: changing filters, check how much refrigerant you have, clean off the unit’s coils, etc. A certified technician can look into your air-conditioners inner-workings to diagnose any problems before they get worse and cost you big bucks.
3. Unplug When Not In Use
Unplugging electronics is good practice year-round, but you can start now to make it a habit in your daily routine. Of all the energy-saving myths out there, this go-to method has been proven to be an actual, helpful method for saving resources – and money. Some estimations predict you could save $100 a year just by unplugging electronics when they’re not in use. If it sounds like a pain to routinely plug-in and unplug your devices, you can make your life easier with a power strip. They come with a built-in switch that cuts off energy so you can keep everything plugged in without them seeping power when not in use.
4. Clean Your Fridge
It’s not just the inside of your fridge that needs attention – although, if it does, you should add that to your spring-cleaning to-do list. The outside of the appliance can collect dust and debris that makes it run less efficiently, which is an even more pressing problem when you consider that the refrigerator uses a lot of energy around the clock.
You’ll want to pull your refrigerator away from the wall to access its coils, which you can vacuum to remove any dust build-up. Once that’s finished, remove unwanted food so that cold air can circulate and keep cool what you’re actually going to eat.
5. Rely on Green Technology
Not everyone is in the market to upgrade their kitchen appliances, but it’s worth mentioning the value of those with an Energy Star seal of approval. In order to receive it, the Environmental Protection Agency ensures that a particular appliance will provide notable energy savings, while still providing all of the features that consumers want in a specific product. Even if you don’t need new devices now, remember this program for the next time you buy.
You can still invest in smaller pieces of energy-efficiency equipment. Perhaps the best example is your thermostat. A programmable one allows you to set your air-conditioning to turn on and off throughout the day when you know you will and won’t be home. You can have it turn up slightly at night when you can crack a window to let cooler outside air into your bedroom. This will undoubtedly save you money, especially if you raise your home’s temperature by a degree or two when it’s warm out.
6. Avoid High-Heat Cooking
You’ve probably spent all winter roasting vegetables, simmering stews, and baking fresh sweets to get you through the cold. But now, as you try to keep your home as cool as possible, you should avoid filling the kitchen with the heat from an oven or stove at full blast. Instead, try your hand at making food that’s served chilled, or dishes that require only a few minutes over heat. Grilling outdoors is another way to keep the heat where it belongs.
Spring Into Savings
With these six tips alone, you will undoubtedly see smaller numbers on this year’s utility bills. And, with energy efficiency on your mind, you’ll be ready to take on the heat of summer, the chill of fall and the freeze of winter. The earth – and your wallet – will thank you.
Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she frequently writes for sites like US Travel News, Thought Catalog, Style Me Pretty, Tripping.com and more!