If you haven’t started your spring cleaning yet, don’t panic! At Sense we’re always looking for new ways to save energy. Small changes add up. That goes for the environment and for your electricity bill. We’ve put together a list of some different ways you can get ahead of the warmer weather and prepare your home to reduce your electricity usage amid fluctuating temperatures.
- Make use of your windows. Spring can be an erratic season (especially if you’re in New England!) but your windows can help equalize the temperature. Leave your blinds open when it’s colder so the sunlight can warm up your home, but open them when it’s warm before you turn on the AC. Opening several windows in your home and keeping doors open will create a cross breeze that keeps air moving, and including a window fan offers additional air flow. Weatherproofing your draft windows can also help moderate temperatures as the weather gets warmer.
- Install a ceiling fan. Ceiling fans use considerably less energy than an AC unit or cooling system, and their effects are much more immediate than waiting for the home to cool down.
- Turn that fan off when you leave. Fans don’t actually cool down the room, they create a wind chill effect on the skin. Leaving your fans on when you aren’t in the room just moves the air around and can use up to 70+ kWh/month.
- Face fans out the window. On especially hot nights, you probably get the portable fan out of the closet. These actually work better when you point them facing out, because they’re blowing the hot air inside your home outside.
- Don't overlook insulating crawl spaces. Attics are important when talking about heat loss, but insulating under the house can also greatly improve efficiency. In the summer months, the cold air from your air conditioning system falls to the floor and if not contained, can fall through the cracks and not circulate properly as intended.
- Air dry. Air drying your clothes and dishes keeps your home cooler on hot days and reduces the amount of time two of your biggest appliances are on.
- Seal drafty areas and any holes around the home with spray foam insulation.
In older homes, the areas around electrical boxes and protrusions into the house from the exterior are often poorly sealed, which can lead to drafts coming in around the outlets or other areas. Use some spray foam to seal around those areas and prevent drafts from coming in.
- Get a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat will manage the changing temperatures for you, resulting in a more comfortable home and major savings on your heating and electric bills. If you aren’t ready to invest in more smart technology, you can manually do the job of the smart thermostat.
- Insulate your home. Hot or cold, your heating and cooling systems work hard to regulate the temperature in your house. There are small, inexpensive changes you can make to insulate your house that really make a difference. If your home is older, it's worth looking into air sealing your home to improve effiency.
- Inspect and weatherstrip exterior doors Broken, damaged, or poorly installed weatherstripping around doors can be a huge culprit when it comes to drafts flowing through your home. Check your weatherstripping for signs of cracking or dry rot, and replace it if it shows signs of wear..
- Clean out your fridge. The more food you have in your fridge, the more energy it uses to keep them cool. In addition to regularly throwing out expired food and consolidating leftovers and condiments, you can take out all of the foods you don’t even need to refrigerate.
- Close the flue. If you have a fireplace, you probably don’t use it during the warmer months. Make sure you close the flue (also known as the damper) because heat rises and the chimney is the fastest way out during colder nights.
Hopefully these will help you save energy this spring; summer will be here before we know it!