Mark StubbsAS THE WEATHER WARMS UP and the days get longer, it’s a good time for homeowners to take a few steps that could save energy—and money—throughout the spring and summer. Here’s a few money-saving energy tips:

1. Tune up your air conditioner. Don’t wait until the summer heat is here to have your AC tuned up, because if you do, you run the risk of a breakdown on a sweltering summer day. A qualified technician can replace your central air conditioning system’s filters, make sure it has enough refrigerant and clean its evaporator coils. A pro also can spot problems in the making and recommend repairs, so they don’t put your unit out of commission.

2. Open your windows. Natural ventilation costs nothing. On warm spring days, invite spring breezes and sunshine in. It’s a great way to air out the house as you begin your annual spring cleaning.

3. Turn off the heat. And delay your use of the air conditioner. Unless March and April are especially warm this year, enjoy the fresh spring air for as long as you can.

4. Seal cracks in the drywall on the indoor side of your exterior walls. You’ll find them around electrical outlets, cable lines, windows, and doors. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that you can save up to 30 percent on your energy bills by sealing air leaks around your house.

5. Service your large appliances. The refrigerator is one of your home’s biggest users of energy. Keep it clean on the inside and out—including the back of it, where coils collect dust and sap the unit’s efficiency. Clean the lint out of your dryer’s vent.

6. Bring in sunlight. During daylight hours, switch off artificial lights and use windows and skylights to brighten your home.

7. Use ceiling fans. Cooling your home with ceiling fans will allow you to raise your thermostat several degrees when it gets warm outside. This can help lower your electricity bills without sacrificing overall comfort.

8. Cook outside. On warmer spring days, keep the heat out of your home by using an outdoor grill instead of an indoor oven.


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