Spring into energy savings

Published March 23, 2022

Spring provides unique opportunities to save on your energy bills as the weather starts to change. Of course, spring in Minnesota is often unpredictable: one day you’ll have the heat on; the next day, the windows are open. Here are some tips to manage your energy use, bills, and comfort during the springtime.

  1. Adjust your thermostat based on the weather. If it’s warm outside, turn on the air conditioner when it reaches 78 degrees. For colder weather, set your thermostat to 68 degrees when you are at home and up to 10 degrees cooler at night or when you are away. A programmable or smart thermostat allows you to automatically control when the air conditioner or furnace turns on.
  2. Manage the sun. Keep window treatments open on cool days to let in the warm sun, and close them on hot days to keep your home cool.
  3. 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.
  4. Use fans, instead of or with air conditioners, as the weather warms.
  5. Redirect ceiling fans. Switch the rotation of ceiling fans counterclockwise and operate them at a slow rate to circulate cold air down from the ceiling. Running fans clockwise helps to circulate warm air down from the ceiling.
  6. 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.
  7. Sign up for air conditioning cycling programs offered by your local utility if you have central air conditioning. These programs provide a discount if you allow your utility to cycle your air conditioner on and off during peak energy times.
  8. Remember to use the bathroom fan to remove excess heat and prevent humidity from escaping into the rest of your home.
  9. Clean refrigerator coils while you are spring cleaning. You should typically clean the coils twice a year (or more frequently if you have pets). This helps your refrigerator run more efficiently and will reduce energy consumption.
  10. Consider your home’s relative humidity. If you are running a dehumidifier to control moisture, make sure to adjust it based on your home’s humidity levels so you aren’t consuming more energy than you need to. The Center for Energy and Environment recommends avoiding humidity levels above 60 percent to prevent mold and bacterial growth.

If you would like some more suggestions for reducing your home energy expenses or have any particular questions about your home, please reach out to info@cubminnesota.org or call 651-300-4701.

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Author: Hannah Hoeger

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