Energy Bang

Spring Cleaning Your Way To An Energy-Efficient Home


With the switchover to Daylight Savings Time on March 10 and the first day of spring on March 20, make time now for spring cleaning before you get too busy enjoying the outdoors! Consider these 10 changes that will keep your home more comfortable and energy-efficient in coming months:


1. Considering a new refrigerator or washer/dryer? Choose ENERGY STAR-rated brands, which use up to 40 percent less energy than older appliances. If you’re happy with your current models, dust the refrigerator coils and clean out your clothes dryer’s outside exhaust vent.


2. Cleaning your windows? Now’s a great time to caulk any leaks and make repairs before  “air-conditioning season.” Consider updating your drapes or blinds with UV-filtering models that, when drawn, help block heat from the sun’s rays.


3. While dusting ceiling fan blades, flip the directional switch to make sure the blades are rotating for optimal cooling — in the summer months, this means blades should turn counterclockwise so that you feel a cool breeze when standing directly under the fan.


4. Storing holiday decorations and other items in your attic? Check the level of insulation — it may have packed down over time and you can add a second layer to help keep your home cool this summer.


5. Clean leaves and lawn debris from around your outside HVAC equipment and schedule a tune-up of your system.


6. Swap out incandescent bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs that use a tiny fraction of the energy while producing 90 percent less heat, helping reduce home cooling costs.


7. Replace traditional landscape lighting with solar accent lights that “charge” during daylight hours and require no electricity.


8.         Showerheads showing signs of age? Unscrew and replace them with low-flow models than can save you about five gallons of water during a 10-minute shower — and up to $200 a year on water-heating costs.


9. If you can, put up and use a clothesline. If you need to use a clothes dryer, then only dry full loads and make sure the lint filter is clear.


10. Invest in power strips and plug your home entertainment and computer center devices into these; they can be turned off with one switch to reduce “phantom load” costs.



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