Spring weather can be unpredictable. One day it’s warm and sunny and makes us long for summer, and the next day, we feel like we’re back in winter’s grips. Here are some tips for how to save electricity during unpredictable weather and make it easier to manage costs.
Take advantage of the good days…
When the weather is comfortable, take advantage of that. Shut off your heat or air conditioning and open windows to use the fresh air to keep your home comfortable. If it starts to get too hot or too cold, make sure you shut the windows and doors so that you don’t throw off the balance and make your HVAC system work overtime to compensate. You can also take advantage of nice weather by spending more time outside. Spending time outside in the sunlight not only has health benefits, but also helps you avoid using energy on electronics like the TV, computers, tablets, and video games.
And stick out the bad days.
When the weather takes a turn for the worst, it can be a natural reaction to crank the heat and curl up on the couch in front of the TV. However, there are ways that you can power through the bad days without throwing off your bill. Instead of cranking the heat, consider using an energy-efficient space heater in the room you are in. These machines use less energy than the full HVAC system and only heat the room you are in. Also, instead of vegging out on electronics all day, try tackling a home project. Organize your closet or junk drawer, clean out the fridge, or touch up the paint around your home. Don’t feel like you have to do a complete home renovation, but be sure to pick one or more projects that will take a decent amount of time and attention. Another good rainy day activity is cleaning the oven because it is safest to do while you are home. Although the cleaning process takes a good bit of energy, it can help produce some heat in your home when it feels a bit chilly.
Wearing layers is one of the best ways to ensure you are comfortable in your home without breaking the bank on the heat bill. Consider wearing lots of lightweight layers, which make it easy to adjust for changing temperatures. If you are feeling cold, consider tucking in your bottom layer on your upper body, or put on thermal socks. If you’re feeling too warm, consider loose fitting shorts or t-shirts that don’t cling to your body. The same mentality applies to your bedding. When it’s hot, keep an overhead fan on instead of cranking the air conditioning at night, and sleep with a sheet. If you don’t have cotton sheets, consider switching for the coolest sleeping experience. When it’s cooler out, throw an extra blanket on the bed or sleep with socks on to stay comfy.
Don’t be too quick to change your thermostat.
The ultimate challenge when trying to control costs during the unpredictable spring weather is deciding when to turn off the heat and when to turn on the air conditioning. The key is making the shift in stages, and only make shifts when you are confident you will no longer need heat. So, turn off the heat when you are sure you won’t absolutely need it, but don’t immediately turn the air conditioning on. Set the temperature so that it will stay stable from the temperatures outside. Fight the heat as long as you can before turning on the air conditioning.
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