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Spring has sprung! Put mild springtime temperatures to work for your energy bill with these easy suggestions:
Hire a heating and air-conditioning professional to check out your air-conditioning system and window AC units. Annual spring maintenance can keep your AC running smoothly. Ask the pro to change or clean the filters while there.
Open the windows. As soon as it’s warm enough to feel comfortable indoors without heat, turn it off and invite inside the warm outdoor air. Natural breezes will freshen a stuffy house that’s been closed up all winter. Keeping the heat and AC turned off for as long as possible can save you a bundle on energy.
Let in the sunshine. Throw open the drapes or blinds to let bright, warm sun rays into your rooms on mild days. When summer heat arrives, close those drapes during the day to keep the sun from overheating your house.
If you have a programmable thermostat, use it. Set it to automatically adjust the temperature so you’re not cooling an empty house.
Switch the direction of ceiling fans. During spring and summer, fan blades should rotate counterclockwise, pushing cooler air down into the room. Using ceiling fans will allow you to increase your thermostat’s temperature setting by up to 4 degrees without sacrificing comfort.
Have a cookout. Prepare dinner on your outdoor grill on nice evenings rather than using the stove or oven. Appliances that create heat tend to heat up the whole house.
Run the dishwasher and clothes dryer after dark. No need to add heat to your home’s air during the day when it’s warm outdoors.
Caulk and weatherstrip windows and doors. You read about this every spring because you should do it every spring. Caulking doesn’t last forever.
Dress for the weather. Shed the sweaters and socks when it’s warm outside so you can delay the start of air-conditioning season inside.
Turn down the water heater. If you snuck it up a couple of degrees during the winter to make your showers extra steamy, it’s time to lower it to 120 degrees. Not only is that hot enough, it’s also a safer temperature than anything higher, especially if kids or older family members are showering in your home.