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Spring Into Energy Efficiency

​Spring is finally here, and it’s time to make a fresh start! Here are 12 simple steps you can take to save energy and money this season, and all year long.

Service your air conditioner. Routinely replacing or cleaning 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.

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 airflow 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 off 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. 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.

Seal ducts. Air loss through leaky ducts can lead to high electricity costs, accounting for nearly 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 spring 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 appropriately mark locations of underground lines or pipes.

Allow air to flow freely. Ensure that no furniture 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.

Become an energy detective. If you have a crawl space, inspect it regularly to ensure that the insulation in the crawl space is dry. When insulation gets wet, it isn't as effective. Be sure to find the source of the moisture and replace any damaged insulation.

Another bright idea! Replace incandescent 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, updated in February 2020.