After a very snowy couple of months paired with a COVID-19 lockdown, longer days with the promise of warmer weather could not be more welcome.
This is the time of the year when we lose an hour of sleep, but it’s worth it. As Daylight Saving Time begins, we want to use it as a cue to remind you of some easy energy-saving tune-ups you can apply to your home.
The moment that weather permits, it’s liberating to crack open some windows, pull out all the cleaning supplies, and swap out winter gear for summer. As you get into spring fever mode, here are some satisfying energy-saving tasks to add to your list:
Channel your inner cleaning machine
Be sure to add your dryer vents, fridge coils and baseboard heaters to your spring cleaning regime. Dust build up can negatively impact their function by causing them to unnecessarily work harder. Mitigate this by vacuuming and dusting these areas thoroughly.
All up in yo’ grill
Nothing says summer like grilled burgers and hotdogs. To make this your reality as soon as possible, give your barbecue a check-up. Roll it out, do any necessary cleaning and, if it’s a gas barbecue, check the lines and look for holes and/or cracks. Lastly, refill your tank. May all your grilling dreams come true very soon.
Make your fan cool again
If you have ceiling fans in your home, now is the time to change the direction that your fan spins. In summer, a counter-clockwise rotation pulls hot air up and pushes cool air down, creating a cooling wind effect. Also, don’t forget that fans cool people, not just rooms. So, turn off fans when rooms are vacant
Use this time to give your furnace some TLC. Do this by checking and cleaning or replacing your furnace filters. A clogged filter hampers a furnace’s performance and can lower the air quality in your home. A filter cleaning or replacement is something that should be done regularly (about every 90 days), so set yourself a reminder after you’ve done it this time.
The final draft
Eliminate drafts coming from windows and doors by identifying and sealing air leaks. Depending on the location of the leak, there are a variety of options including caulking and weatherstripping. If you have sliding doors, also be sure to keep the door tracks clean - dirt and grime in the tracks not only affects the ease of using the door, but can also interfere with the seal.
Holmes your home
As you go from room to room changing the clocks, stop and take note of the light switches and outlets in each room. Do they all work properly? Do any of them have burn marks or other damage? Are your outlets buzzing or making other sounds? By identifying potential hazards, you can prevent electrical fires before they happen. Be sure to hire a licensed electrical contractor for inspections or repairs.
Embrace the wind in your sails - and clothes
For those who have space indoors or outdoors, consider giving your dryer a break by setting up an easy system to use a clothing rack and/or clothesline. Hanging your clothes to dry will not only help you save on energy, it will help your clothes last longer.
Automate and update
If you’re looking for a quick and easy upgrade, consider purchasing a smart thermostat. With a smart thermostat, you can program your heating and cooling regime so that you can set it and (almost) forget it. If you already have one, start making adjustments as the season changes. Likewise, if you have any timers set for lights, adjust them too to fit the extended daylight hours.
Once you have these done along with all of your other spring cleaning duties, be sure to top it off with a much deserved reward. Grab a drink, take a seat, and reap the benefits of your hard work.
Bring it on, summer! We’re ready for you.