The great American tradition of spring cleaning is about fresh starts, improved comfort, and better habits. We open our windows and doors to the warm weather, air out our homes, clean out our garages, shake out our rugs. It’s a liberating experience that leaves us all feeling good, like we’ve hit the reset button on our daily routine. But in the bustle of cleaning, it’s easy to let energy escape—leaving the fridge open for too long, for instance, or letting the AC run while doors and windows are open. To help reduce your energy usage, follow these five easy suggestions.
1. Set your thermostat…
As a general practice, setting a programmable thermostat to a higher setting when you’re not at home can help reduce your energy costs by approximately 10 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Before you get started on spring cleaning, consider the temperature outside. If the weather is nice and you anticipate coming in and out frequently, consider turning the air-conditioning off altogether for the day…
2. …And then open your windows.
After you’ve shut your thermostat off, open your windows and cool your home with the natural cross breeze.
3. Use your fans—ceiling and bathroom.
If it’s a little too warm for au naturel cooling with a breeze, you can still save energy with the help of ceiling and bathroom fans. Ceiling fan cooling will allow you to raise your thermostat by four degrees, which can help lower your energy bill without sacrificing comfort. Ditto for the bathroom fan, which will push out the heat and humidity and help maintain a comfortable airflow.
4. Bring in the sunlight.
Keep the artificial lights off; let your windows and skylights illuminate your home naturally during the day. When you turn the lights back on as the sun goes down, make sure you’re using energy-efficient LED bulbs. PSO offers instant rebates at participating retailers—just look for the ENERGY STAR® logo.
5. Cook outside.
After a day of energy-efficient cleaning, keep the savings and comfort going by preparing dinner al fresco. Skip the kitchen stove & oven and use an outdoor grill instead; this will both save energy and preserve your home’s comfort level.