It might not feel like it yet, but Spring is here as of 12:15pm today, March 20th. Yes, we’ve been waiting for spring down to its very first minute. And what’s not to love about Spring? Winter has dragged on and on, and we’ve been looking forward to opening the shades, cracking the windows, and dusting off those grills. Who’s excited about that? We all are.
If you’re like most, you’re also looking forward to saving on your energy bill. Spring is great time to do that! It’s our brief respite between Winter cold and Summer heat. Here are a few spring cleaning, energy saving tips for you as we dive into the new season.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
We want to work smarter, not harder, right? A programmable thermostat will help you do just that. You, like the rest of us, are probably going to adjust your thermostat once the weather flips. It’s recommended that you keep your thermostat at 78 degrees in warmer weather. With a programmable, you’ll save money, keep you home at a consistent temperature, spend less time adjusting, and increase your home’s efficiency. A more efficient home means money in your pocket.
Take Advantage of the Sunlight
The entire country collectively groaned when we had to push the clock forward an hour for daylight savings. The one advantage we get immediately? More natural light and warmer weather as we move through the season. First, crack windows when it’s cool- early in the morning and the evening are prime times to let in a cool breeze. In addition:
- Install white window shades to reflect heat away from your home;
- Apply sun control films to windows to curb solar heat gain, and;
- Consider installing awnings outside your windows. Doing so will create more shade around your windows and allow you to keep them open longer.
Audit Your Home’s Appliances
Old, inefficient home appliances can zap more energy than you think. Do you have an air conditioner that’s more than 15 years old? What about a poorly maintained, or outdated water heater? Getting on a service plan, or upgrading to energy efficient appliances could potentially save you hundreds of dollars. With appliances accounting for nearly 13 percent of your total energy bill, you could be in for big savings.
Get Efficient With Your Water
As it gets warmer, there are a few things you can do to reduce your energy bill as it pertains to your water usage. Most water heaters are set at 140 degrees by default. Lowering the temp to 120 degrees this spring and summer could cut your energy consumption up to 10 percent. And, considering your water heater accounts for nearly 25 percent of your total energy costs, the savings could be significant.
Let’s head to the shower. Specifically, to the shower head. Efficiency is as much about technology as it is about curbing waste. Going “low-flow” with your shower heads can lead to a surprising amount of savings. A conventional shower head uses three to four gallons a minute, while a low flow shower head uses roughly two gallons per minute. For a household of four, that could equate to savings between 70 and 130 dollars per year.
Light Your Way to Energy Efficiency
Lighting technology has made leaps and bounds over the last 10 or so years. Gone are the days of replacing a bulb every few months and paying dearly for leaving the lights on. Changing to new and improved lighting such as halogen incandescents, CFLs and LEDs can reduce energy usage from lighting to as much as 80 percent. You will pay more for these bulbs, but their efficiency will more than make up for the cost. LEDs, for example, are rated up to 50,000 hours of use. Even if used 12 hours a day, that equates to more than 11 years of life.
Flynn Energy is a leading provider of residential propane and heating oil products. Contact us to learn how we can help solve your home’s heating needs any time of year.