Give Your Energy Usage a Spring-Cleaning
As you tackle spring-cleaning, consider tackling some projects around the house to reduce your energy bill and prepare your home for the warmer months to come.
Virginia Energy Sense, the Commonwealth’s energy education program, is here to help with your seasonal home prep this spring. As the temperatures begin to rise, look for ways you can make your home more comfortable and energy-efficient:
- Maintain your heating and air conditioning. Replacing your air filters regularly reduces your home energy consumption by up to 15%. Also, have your furnace and air conditioning system serviced once a year to ensure they’re running at peak efficiency.
- Set your thermostat. On warm days, set your programmable thermostat to a higher temperature than normal when you’re out of the house to reduce energy costs. Enjoy additional savings by using fans in the rooms where you’re sleeping while setting your thermostat higher. A smart thermostat learns your behavior and can raise or lower the temperature depending on whether you’re at home. It also lets you control your home’s temperature from your smartphone.
- Check for air leaks. Sealing, weatherstripping, or caulking any openings around windows and doors will keep air from escaping and help maintain your desired temperature.
- Adjust your ceiling fans. Ceiling fans can make a room feel 5 degrees cooler, and you’ll save money by relying less on your air conditioning. Make sure fans are moving counterclockwise so they circulate cooler air.
- Install window treatments. Adding coverings like blinds or shades will block the sun’s heat from entering your house, keeping your home cooler and reducing your energy usage.
- Close vents in unused rooms. If there are rooms you spend little time in, close the air vents and then shut the door. That way your air conditioner won’t be cooling a room you don’t use that much.
In addition, you can conserve energy in every room of your home by paying attention to lighting, appliances, and electronics:
- Use energy-efficient lighting. Make sure that all of the lightbulbs in your home are LEDs, which use less energy and last up to 25 times as long as incandescent bulbs.
- Clean your refrigerator. A refrigerator won’t run efficiently when its coils are covered with dust and debris. Clean the coils on your refrigerator, and dust behind the fridge and underneath it.
- Consider replacing old appliances. Older appliances are not as efficient as newer models. When your appliances need replacing, look for ENERGY STAR certified equipment to boost your home’s energy efficiency.
- Cut the power. Turn off lights, computers, and other equipment when they’re not in use and overnight while you’re asleep. Leaving them on leads to higher electric bills, as does leaving them plugged in. Unplug appliances and devices whenever possible as they continue to drain energy even when turned off.
For a full energy efficiency checklist, visit our page on performing a do-it-yourself energy audit.
Also, don’t forget to apply for rebates! If you own a home or business, visit our incentives and rebates page to look for government or energy provider cost-saving programs you qualify for.
Discover more energy saving tips to reduce your spring and summer cooling costs.