How can I use my home’s natural air flow to cut back on energy costs?
Looking for some easy ways to cut energy costs this spring?
Take advantage of your home’s natural airflow in the morning and at night. Instead of paying to run your A/C all day, use fans to move air through your house. Running ceiling fans in reverse will pull cool air upward as it circulates. And don’t forget to turn off the A/C and open your windows on a cool day or in the evening.
You can even improve air flow by cracking a first-floor window and putting a box fan in an open second floor window. As the fan blows out, it will help pull a cool breeze upward and push hot air back outside.
What can I do to make my AC unit more efficient and cost-effective?
During this year’s spring cleaning, budget time for cleaning your air conditioning unit. Dirty filters are bad for the unit, and they let allergens into your home. Change the filter once a year for cleaner air.
Your A/C can also raise your energy bill if the outdoor condenser’s dirty. To clean the coil, shut off power at the disconnect box or flip the circuit breaker at the main electrical panel.
Remove dirt and leaves from the top and sides of the unit. Then, spray the coils and fins with a garden hose—work from the inside, out and top, down, while keeping water away from the fan motor.
And always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from debris!
How can I reduce the energy consumption in each room of my home?
Every room in your house costs energy! Here’s how to cut back in some key areas:
Fans keep our bedrooms cool at night—but always flip them off when you leave the room.
Spring and summer are the seasons for grilling, so cook outside to cut back on using kitchen appliances. Not only will you save electricity, but your A/C won’t have to fight the heat coming off your stove.
Quit using your dryer in the spring and summer. Line dry clothes outside under the Texas sun.
And to keep A/C from seeping out through the garage, weatherstrip the bottom of your garage door and the door that enters your home.
What can I do to prep my home for the Spring weather?
We always think about weatherstripping houses in the winter, but it’s just as important in the spring. Having properly sealed windows helps keep in cool air, as outdoor temperatures rise.
Talk a stroll around your house, and look for any cracked caulk around windows or doors. Seal out hot air by recaulking gaps and replacing old weather stripping. You can also add door seals to draft-proof the bottoms of any doors that lead outside.
When you’re finished, replace old or broken window blinds, and turn them closed against the sun. Using window treatments in warmer months will keep out the sun’s hot rays and lowers your energy costs.
What can I do to make my washing machine more efficient?
Spring cleaning is good for your health and home—but it’s also good for your wallet.
Your washing machine usually does the cleaning, but sometimes it too needs a wash. Run the disinfecting cycle or fill it with a mix of hot water, distilled vinegar, and baking soda. Let the mixture sit for an hour, and then rinse it clean to remove excess dirt and improve the machine’s efficiency.
You should also check air vents and ducts for dust. If they look dirty, wipe them down to create better air flow. Then, check the filters on your furnace and A/C units. New air filters improve air quality and keep your HVAC system running its best.
What are some ways I can cut back on my energy costs at home?
Spring clean your energy budget!
Turn down your hot water heater temperature, and stick to quick showers to cut costs.
Run the dishwasher when it’s full, instead of hand washing dishes. And if you skip the drying cycle, you’ll save both water and heat!
To lower electricity costs, pick up a few LED light bulbs. They use less energy but can last 10 years or more. Just make a habit of turning off the lights when you leave a room. Flipping off the lights for one day may only save you a few cents. But flipping off the lights every day can save you $20 to 30 dollars each year!
How can I cut back on energy costs when cooking?
As temperatures rise this year, cut back on air conditioning by grilling food outside. But don’t waste energy by running the grill longer than you need to!
Charcoal grills take about 20 minutes to get hot, but gas grills only take a few. Plan for the grill to be warm right as you finish prepping the food and veggies.
Then plan sides that don’t need heat to cook. Salads, chips and salsa, and wraps make for cool, tasty dishes. Once your meats have finished cooking, remember to shut off the grill right away to save the rest of the fuel for your next barbecue.
How can I be prepared for the varying Spring weather and temperatures?
During a Texas April, daytime temperatures get quite warm, but mornings and evenings are still a little chilly.
Dress in layers to cut back on heating and air conditioning. Wear a sweater early and late in the day, with cool clothing underneath for when temperatures rise.
If it gets too hot, drink a glass of cold water to cool your body down without the A/C.
Finally, do heat-producing tasks in the cooler hours of the day. Bake and wash clothes or dishes in the morning before it gets warm, or after temperatures drop in the evening.
These tasks also add heat to the house, requiring less work from your furnace.
How can I freshen up my daily health routine this Spring?
As the days get longer and warmer this spring, try starting a new outdoor, exercise routine. Going for a light run or power walk is a great way to get fit and strengthen your heart and lungs.
After you’ve worked up a sweat, take a cold shower to cool down. It’ll help you cut back on hot water costs, while also taking the inflammation out of your sore muscles.
You can also buy fresh fruits and veggies from your local farmer’s market. Fresh produce will improve your family’s diet and also support your local businesses
What are the benefits of having house plants?
Indoor plants don’t just add a touch of earthy green to your décor, they also provide positive benefits for your home.
Plants love it when you talk to them because they take in carbon dioxide from your breath, along with other chemicals and indoor pollutants from the air.
Having lots of house plants helps your HVAC system spread clean, safe air throughout your home.
Plus, caring for plants is a great way to de-stress as you watch them grow and keep them healthy. Just remember to water the soil when it’s dry, and give them lots of natural sunlight.
How can I prepare for Spring thunderstorms?
Texas springs often bring severe thunderstorms. Make sure your family knows these important tips for bad storms.
Always head inside when you hear thunder. Thunderstorms can bring lightning, high winds, and flooding, so getting indoors quickly helps you stay safe.
You should also prepare for power surges and outages. Plug your electronics into a surge protector or power strip to protect them from damage, and make sure you have flashlights on hand in case the power goes out.
When you lose power, try to open the fridge and freezer as little as possible. This will help perishable food stay cold longer, because you never know when the power will come back on.
What are other things I can do to “Spring clean” my home?
One of the best ways to finish your spring cleaning is to host a yard sale.
As you sort through old and unused items, give them a chance at a second home by putting them up for sale.
A good way to organize your belongings is to split them into “donate,” “keep,” and “sell” piles. Then, you can reorganize what you want to hang on to, donate the items that you can give away, and label the sellable items with price tags.
It’s also fun to host a yard sale with family or neighbors. By working with a team, you’ll have more items to sell and extra hands to help with the workload