Spring can be a transition season: a good time to clear out the effects of winter and look at what needs to be made ready for summer.
Here are nine things you can do in the spring to make you home more energy efficient:
Spring-cleaning involves making sure all the fans in your home are working properly and are dust-free. Regularly wash or replace filters.
Change the airflow on your ceiling fan
Make sure you change the direction of airflow on your ceiling fan. In the winter, let the fan push warm air toward the floor and in summer, switch the direction and draw air upward, cooling the room and ensuring constant airflow.
Insulated, thermal-backed drapes
In preparing for the summer, consider investing in some insulated, thermal-backed drapes for your windows.
Air conditioning system
Before buying an air conditioning unit or system, find out its energy efficiency ratio (EER). Calculate the EER by dividing the unit’s cooling capacity (BTU’s/hour) by its energy requirement (watts). An EER of 10 or more is very good, and 6 or 7 is fair. Remember to buy the smallest capacity unit or system that will meet your needs.
Have you ever thought about installing an attic ventilator? An attic ventilating system draws cool air up through the house and can provide the same level of comfort as an air conditioner at a much lower cost. Pump in cool air during summer evenings then seal your home during the day. Attic ventilation can help lower winter heating bills too.
Check for air leaks
Have a look at your foundation walls. If you have an unfinished basement or crawlspace, check for air leaks by looking for spider webs. If there’s a web, there’s a draft. A large amount of heat is also lost from an un-insulated basement.
Inspect sliding doors
Does your home have a sliding glass door? Make sure to keep its track clean. A dirty track can ruin the door’s seal and create gaps where heat or cold air can escape.
If you have the choice, consider choosing an electric-powered lawn mower. Gas-powered lawn mowers emit greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change whereas electric-powered lawn mowers don’t emit such gases.
Refrigerator condenser coils
When dust and pet hair build up on your refrigerator’s condenser coils, the motor works harder and uses more electricity. As part of your spring-cleaning routine, make sure the coils are cleaned and air can circulate freely.
Don’t forget to check the seals on your refrigerator door to make sure they are clean and tight. Your refrigerator accounts for up to 11 percent of your household’s total energy use, which can have a major impact on your energy bill.
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