Winter may be ending soon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start prepping your home to take advantage of all the energy savings opportunities that spring affords! Spring “energy cleaning” will help you save energy and money.
Virginia Energy Sense (VES), the Commonwealth’s energy education program, is here to help. We are committed to helping Virginians understand their energy use and what they can do to save energy easily and cost effectively. Here are a few helpful tips to help you take some easy steps so you can do some Spring “energy cleaning” of your own.
- Home Energy Audit: You can conduct your own home energy audit[link to home energy audit sheet] or hire a professional [link to home energy audit webpage]to conduct a home energy audit to assess your home for opportunities to save energy. The cost of an energy audit is about $400, but you can recover that cost in less than a year and then continue to reap the benefits once you have saved enough money to pay for the cost of the professional audit.
- Maintain Your HVAC System: Replacing your air filters regularly can reduce your energy consumption up to 15%. Beyond that, consider getting your furnace and air conditioning system serviced once per year to ensure it is running at peak efficiency.
- Clean Your Refrigerator: When a refrigerator’s coils are covered with dust and debris it won’t run efficiently. Clean the coils on your refrigerator as well as dusting behind it and underneath it.
- Seal Ducts: Air loss via ducts can raise your energy costs. Look for exposed seams in ductwork in basements, crawl spaces, and attics. Seal any gaps or seams with appropriate heat-approved tapes or sealant.
- Set Your Thermostat: On warm days, set your programmable thermostat to a higher temperature than normal while out of the house to reduce energy costs. You can reap additional savings by turning the thermostat to a higher setting while you sleep while using fans to make it more comfortable in certain rooms.
- Switch to Energy Efficient Lighting: Swap out any traditional incandescent lightbulbs for LED bulbs. Compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, ENERGY STAR rated LED bulbs use much less energy and last up to 25 times longer. LED bulbs aren’t much more expensive than traditional bulbs, give off better light, and will save lots of money over the long term.
- Adjust Your Ceiling Fans: Make sure they are moving counter-clockwise in order to circulate cooler air throughout your home. You’ll also save more by relying less on you thermostat.
- Seal Air Leaks: Sealing, weathering-stripping or caulking any openings in your home around windows and doors will keep air from escaping and leave more money in your pocket.
- Install Window Treatments: Adding coverings like blinds or shades will reduce the heat from the sun that enters your house, keeping your home cooler and reducing your energy use.
- Close Vents in Unused Rooms: If you have some rooms in your house you spend little time in, close the air vent in that room and close the door. By closing the vent, your HVAC system won’t be cooling a room you don’t use much.
- Replace Old Appliances: Chances are your old appliances are not as efficient as newer models. Purchasing ENERGY STAR equipment during tax holidays is a great step toward increasing your home’s overall energy efficiency. And, in some instances, you may qualify for a rebate or tax credit with the purchase of qualifying appliances.
You can find even more energy saving tips on our Home Tips page on our website to help you cut down on spring and summer cooling costs.
Following these easy pointers will help save you and your family energy and money. This will allow you to spend your energy elsewhere, using money you’ve saved on power bills to do other activities you enjoy. Taking these important steps will also help Virginia reach its goal of reducing electric energy consumption 10 percent below 2006 levels by 2022, which will benefit all Virginians.