Follow these springtime tips to help save energy and lower your electric bill:
1. Call a qualified technician to service your central air-conditioning system. HVAC equipment needs servicing every year to head off major problems and keep the system running smoothly all summer.
2. As long as the spring weather is mild, open a window instead of turning on the air conditioner. Draw soft spring breezes into the home by turning on your ceiling fans.
3. Cook outside on the grill as soon as the weather permits it. When you don’t turn on the cooktop or oven, you don’t heat up your house.
4. Close the shades. It’s tempting to leave them open on beautiful, sunny spring days. If it’s hot outside, that heat can find its way into your house through the windows and tempt you to crank up the AC unnecessarily.
5. If it’s sunny but not hot outdoors, throw those curtains open and let the natural daylight illuminate your home. Then, turn off any lights. You won’t need them.
6. Don’t have a programmable thermostat yet? It’s time. Sometimes spring weather calls for heat, and sometimes you need the AC. A programmable thermostat will help you limit how much energy you use for either by automatically turning the temperature up or down as needed.
7. Seal the ducts in your central air-conditioning system. Leaky ducts can push your cooling costs up by as much as 30 percent.
8. Likewise, caulk around windows and electrical outlets so cool air can’t escape your house and hot air can’t get in.
9. Keep your home’s humidity levels low by running kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans—but only until the smoke or steam clears. Running them for too long will suck more than humidity and odors from your home. Those fans can send your comfortable, conditioned air out of the house.
10. Change your AC filter. A clogged filter forces your system to work harder and use more energy. It also can send the dust and allergens it collects right back into your indoor air.