Its been quite the winter — polar vortex and ice dams galore. We are all ready for some warmer weather and running the heat less often! Here are some tips to help control your energy use as we transition into a new season. Because spring can be fickle and sometimes short, we also have links to winter and summer tips. Heating and cooling are the largest energy expenses in most households. You will see the first tip is to continue to concentrate on managing your thermostat as the weather changes.
- Adjust your thermostat based on the weather. For cold weather, set it at 68 degrees when home and up to 10 degrees cooler when away or at night. If it’s warm outside, have the air conditioner turn on when it is 78 degrees. Use a programmable or smart thermostat to automatically control when the furnace or air conditioner turns on.
- Manage the sun. Keep window treatments open on cool days to let in warm sun and close them on hot days to keep your home cool.
- Get your air conditioning unit professionally serviced. Make sure your AC unit is ready to cool you down during hot weather and is free of outside debris.
- Open windows to naturally cool your home.
- Use fans, instead of or with air conditioners, as the weather warms. Redirect ceiling fans to run counter-clockwise so warm air is not pushed down.
- Continue to replace furnace filters. If you have a central air conditioning system, air continues to travel through your furnace. Filters can help with allergens, and clean filters keep your mechanical systems working efficiently.
- Sign up for air conditioning cycling programs offered by your local utility if you have central air conditioning. Xcel’s AC Savers Switch, Dakota Electric’s Air Conditioning Cycling Program, and similar programs give you a discount for allowing the utility to cycle your air conditioner on and off during peak energy times.
- Take short showers instead of baths to reduce hot water consumption in your home.
- Use the bathroom fan to remove excess heat and humidity from escaping into the rest of your home.
- Clean refrigerator coils while you are spring cleaning, and do it twice a year or more frequently if you have pets.
Enjoy the change of seasons. We’ll be back with summer tips in a few months!