Winter is over, and spring is here!

Winter is over, and spring is here!

Beside the joy of being able to go outside and engage in more outdoor activities, spring opens up many opportunities for reducing your home energy bill. The drastic improvement in weather means you’ll use the furnace less and might even start turning on the air conditioning soon. But you can minimize your energy costs with a few smart tactics.
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Turn off climate control, and open the windows. If the outdoor temperature is anywhere between 50 F and 90 F, turn off the furnace and air conditioning, and open the windows in your home. It will take awhile for that outdoor air to alter the temperature of your home, so your home temperature will stay fairly stable. But you’ll save because you won’t be running climate control.

Naturally, you should stop doing this if the climate in your home reaches an uncomfortable level, but as long as the temperature outside is pleasant, the temperature inside will be pleasant as well.

Set the ceiling fan to run in a counterclockwise direction. During warmer weather, you want your ceiling fans to blow air straight down, so you’ll want the blades to rotate in a counterclockwise direction. Most ceiling fans have a switch on them that changes the direction. (When the weather is cool, you want the blades turning clockwise.)

Running ceiling fans in the appropriate direction uses relatively little energy and can help you avoid turning on the air conditioner when the weather is particularly warm. If this tip stops you from closing the windows and turning on the climate control on a warm spring day, then it saves you money.

Open the curtains, and take advantage of direct and indirect natural lighting. The natural light streaming in through your windows allows you to get away with turning on lights in your house, which will save a surprising amount of energy.

Of course, direct sunlight has a heating effect as well. Try to avoid opening the curtains and allowing direct sunlight when the weather is really warm because your house will get warm, too. But when it’s still cool, you should welcome that direct sunlight. It’s great for lighting up the room and reducing heating costs.

Do laundry and dishes late in the evening. Household tasks that produce heat make sense during the day in the winter when the extra heat will help warm up your house and make your furnace work a bit less. In the spring, that situation changes – it’s cold in the evening but warm during the day.

Be strategic about the temperature, and perform household tasks that warm the house during the late evening hours. Bake cookies. Do the laundry. Run the dishwasher. That excess heat will add warmth to your home and thus reduce the need for home heating during the night hours. If doing this prevents even a single furnace cycle, you’ll save money on your energy bill just by doing the things you would ordinarily do at a different time.

Take advantage of spring. Go outside, of course, but also let the nice weather do its work to lower your home energy use.

By Trent Hamm via USNEWS.com

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