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Spring Into Energy Efficiency
Spring is here, and it’s time for a fresh start! As you think about spring cleaning and what needs to be done around your home, remember to keep energy efficiency in mind. There are simple ways to stay comfortable in your home without driving up your electric bill. 

Here are 10 simple energy efficiency tips to keep your electric bill low this spring. These tips can be implemented now and will help keep your home cool throughout the hotter summer months, too. 

  • Service your air conditioner. Routinely replacing or cleaning your air filters can lower your cooling system’s energy consumption by up to 15 percent. Don’t forget to check your air conditioner’s evaporator coil, which should be cleaned annually before the cooling season to ensure the system is performing at optimal levels. 
  • Insulate your home. Significantly reduce heating and cooling costs (while increasing comfort in any weather) by properly insulating your home or business. Visit the Department of Energy’s website for more information about insulation. Also, if you have a crawl space, inspect your insulation to make sure it’s dry. If it gets wet, it’s less effective, so be sure to replace any damaged insulation. 
  • Use ceiling fans. Did you know that cooling your home with ceiling fans will allow you to raise your thermostat by up to 4 degrees? Setting a fan to turn counterclockwise during warmer months and clockwise during colder months redistributes air flow efficiently. This can help lower your electricity bills without sacrificing comfort. 
  • Upgrade your thermostat. A web-programmable “smart” thermostat can save you even more money—as much as 10 percent on your annual electric bill. It gives you the power to control your home's temperature remotely (on your computer or smart phone), so it's just right when you walk in the door. 
  • Create a comfortable climate. If health permits, set your thermostats to 78 degrees, especially during “peak” energy hours. In addition, close window shades, blinds, or drapes to keep out the sun and to keep cooler air inside. 
  • Caulk air leaks and seal ducts. Using low-cost caulk to seal cracks and openings in your home keeps the cool air inside and the hot air outside—and cash in your wallet. Air loss through leaky ducts also can lead to high electricity costs, accounting for up to 30 percent of a cooling system’s energy consumption. Sealing and insulating ducts can go a long way toward lowering your electricity bill. 
  • Cook outside. On warmer days, keep the heat out of your home by cooking with an outdoor grill instead of using indoor ovens. Make sure to follow all safety instructions when cooking with a grill. 
  • Make spring greener. Proper selection and placement of trees, shrubs, and vines helps lower the heating and cooling needs of a home or business. Remember to call 8-1-1 before you dig so your local electric company can send a professional to mark locations of underground lines or pipes appropriately. 
  • Allow air to flow freely. Ensure that no furniture or plants or other obstacles are blocking ducts or fans or air registers. This will enable cooled air to circulate freely, making your home or business more comfortable and using less energy. 
  • Another bright idea! Replace old incandescent and halogen light bulbs with more efficient LED bulbs. Check the “Lighting Facts” area of the light bulb box to make sure that the new bulb has the brightness (in lumens), life, and light appearance that you want. Also, if the old light bulb was on a dimmer switch, check the LED light bulb box to make sure that it is dimmable as well (not all LED light bulbs are dimmable). 

For more energy-saving tips, check out EEI’s booklet, More Than 100 Ways to Improve Your Electric Bill.