Spring Clean from Winter Energy Bills
Every year the arrival of spring announces a return to warmth, growth, and hopefully an end to those sky-high winter energy bills. Now more than ever, spring cleaning can help you keep your energy bill as low as possible. As you sweep out dust bunnies, make sure to pay attention to details that could mean huge savings as summer gets underway. Here are some tips on how to use spring cleaning to lower your bill this season and year-round.
Air conditioners and refrigerators are a huge source of any home’s energy usage during the summer months. While you’re cleaning out your kitchen or tidying your yard, take time to clean off the coils on these appliances. Clean coils allow the appliances to use less energy, and save you money. Another way to help keep your refrigeration costs low is to fill empty space in your fridge with water jugs. Because water retains the cold, your fridge can consume less energy than it would cooling empty space. The same trick can be used for freezers. Just make sure to use plastic jugs instead of glass in your freezer, or they could explode.
LED and fluorescent light bulbs consume far less energy than your classic incandescent bulbs. Making the change to LED or fluorescent doesn’t just set you up well for the summer--it saves you money all year-long. Assuming you have roughly 30 bulbs in your house, the difference to your pocket book could be hundreds of dollars annually.
Natural shading is one more way to keep your A/C costs low and your home comfortably cool. By far the simplest strategy is to capture cooler air by leaving your windows open at night, and then keeping them closed and shaded through the heat of the day. Curtains made of lighter material would help preserve access to natural light without exposing your home to the direct heat of the sun. A more comprehensive approach could include awnings, trees, and plants inside and outside the home.
Finally, make sure that A/C vents are not blocked by furniture or anything else. Allowing the vent to flow freely means your A/C unit can work to cool your house as efficiently as possible. If this isn’t enough to satisfy your DIY appetite, consider building your own A/C unit! There are many different designs to choose from, and directions to two of those options are included below.