10 Spring Energy Savings Tips and How to Implement Them
Warmer weather gets us thinking about being outside and enjoying the sunshine. But, we also wonder how high our electricity bills will be when we’re cooling off inside. If you’re looking to cut your cooling costs without sacrificing your family’s comfort and summer fun, check out these 10 energy savers tips.
1. Use Your Ceiling Fans
Did you know that the average ceiling fan, run at its highest speed, consumes about 75 watts of power? If run for 3 hours a day, that breaks down to a 0.22 kWh. Let’s say your price per kWh is $0.10, using a ceiling fan would cost you $0.02 per day.
Now, compare that to an air conditioner that consumes roughly 2,000 watts of power. If run for 3 hours a day, that breaks down to 6 kWh. If your price per kWh is $0.10, using the air conditioner would cost you $0.60 per day.
This simple exercise allows you to quickly see how using the fans in your home can translate to reduced energy bills.
Furthermore, The U.S. Department of Energy, says that cooling your home with ceiling fans will allow you to raise your thermostat by roughly four degrees, which can further reduce your energy bill by up to 30 percent.
2. Update Your Windows
During the spring and summer, direct sunlight can significantly warm up your home. One energy savers tip is to prevent UV rays from bringing unwanted heat into your house, as a way to reduce your energy bill.
According to ENERGY STAR, a typical home will save $126–$465 a year when replacing single-pane windows with ENERGY STAR qualified windows, and $27–$111 a year when replacing double-pane windows.
Bonus energy savers tip: Invest in heavily-insulated drapes to block even more heat from entering your home as an additional way to save energy in the spring.
3. Check Seals Around Your Windows and Doors
Letting hot air into your home — or cold air out — due to gaps around your windows and doors might be costing you more than you expect. According to The U.S. Department of Energy, by sealing any leaks or drafts in your home can save you between five and 30 percent per year in energy costs.
Sealing leaks on your doors and windows is a simple process, too. All you need is caulk or weather stripping materials and you can block unwanted airflow in a snap.
4. Check Your Refrigerator Gasket
You might be surprised to learn that a refrigerator accounts for almost 14 percent of the average homeowner’s electrical bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
One energy savers tip is to ensure all of your refrigerator’s components are running well, so it doesn’t take up more energy than normal. That’s why you should inspect your refrigerator gaskets often.
Your refrigerator gasket is the rubber seal around the inside of the door and is responsible for keeping the cold air in. If this gasket breaks or cracks, it can allow the warm air inside of your home to enter your refrigerator, causing the compressor to work harder to maintain a cool temperature, and increasing your electricity bill.
5. Don’t Add Heat to Your Home
Many of our regular day-to-day chores create heat inside our homes without us even realizing it. As a way to save energy in the spring, considering the following:
- On hot days, avoid cooking in your oven – instead opt for your stovetop, microwave, or grilling outside.
- Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes and air dry both dishes and clothing when possible.
- Opt for short showers over steamy baths.
Bonus energy savers tip: The exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen can help remove heat produced by your shower and stove, making for an even more efficient cooling system.
6. Upgrade Your Lighting
If you’re still using incandescent bulbs, you should know that only 10 percent of the electricity they consume is used for light, the rest is turned into heat. Not only does that mean you’re paying more for less light, but you’re also unknowingly warming your home.
Opt for more efficient lights like LEDs, which according to the Department of Energy use at least 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting.
And remember to turn the lights off when you’re not in the room. For a 40 watts lightbulb that’s on for one hour, you can expect to consume 0.04 kWh. If your electricity rate is $0.10 per kWh, every hour means $0.04 out of your pocket — at 24 hours a day, that’s nearly a dollar a day!
7. Give Your AC a Tune-up
If you get your air conditioner tuned up in the spring, you’ll prevent yourself from potential meltdowns in the summer.
Your tune-up not only ensures your AC will work this summer, but will also help you maximize its efficiency. Make sure that you:
- Replace your filters and deep clean your evaporator coils to increase airflow
- Ensure your system isn’t working on overdrive by checking refrigerant levels
- Inspect your ductwork for visible gaps or collapse that may restrict airflow
For a more in-depth look under the hood, you may want to schedule an inspection from Santa Energy to ensure all parts of your system are working. It’s also a good idea to call in the pros if you suspect a leak in your equipment which can further decrease the efficiency of your system and cause potential health issues for you and your family.
8. Check Your Water Heater
First things first, check the thermostat on your current water heater. Many manufacturers automatically set water heater thermostats to 140°F, though 120°F will work for your home just fine.
In fact, adjusting the thermostat to 120° will help you avoid scalding temperatures when you turn on your hot water, and will also cut energy costs. Even when you’re not actively using your water heater, reducing the temperature will save you $36 to $61, annually, in standby heat savings. And, adjusting the heat down will save you more than $400 per year, during active water heater use, according to The U.S. Department of Energy.
Bonus energy savers tip: Each year, drain a quarter of your water heater tank to remove sediment and debris to ensure your water heater is working as efficiently as possible all year round.
9. Use Your AC Thermostat With Care
The cooler you keep your home with an air conditioner, the higher your electric bills will be. According to the U.S Department of Energy, 78° F is the most efficient temperature to run your AC when you’re home. While you’re away, it’s best to keep the thermostat at 85°. Adjusting your temperature down to just 72° can increase your energy bills by roughly 47 percent.
Read our full article on maximizing the lifespan of your AC unit, while protecting your energy bill.
10. Upgrade to ENERGY STAR
We already covered how ENERGY STAR-qualified windows can save you heaps of money this spring, but remember there are other appliances you can upgrade to increase your savings even more.
By equipping your home with ENERGY STAR refrigerators, dishwashers, and heating and cooling systems you can reduce your home energy use by up to 50 percent.
This spring, Fairfield and New Haven County residents can depend on Santa Energy to keep them cool. Whether you need a new cooling system installed or your current one tuned up, keep us in mind as the weather continues to warm up.