Hello Spring!

Hello Spring!

 

Spring has sprung!  The last of winter is reluctantly leaving portions of the US.  In other parts of our nation summer is knocking at the door.  During this season important things can be done to decrease the amount of energy you use.

  1. Check your home for winter damage.  Seal/caulk any areas where the winter destroyed your seals around all perforations in your walls. This includes windows, doors, plumbing, AC, wires, and any cracks.

  1. A typical maintenance check-up should include the following.

    • Check thermostat settings to ensure the cooling and heating system keeps you comfortable when you are home and saves energy while you are away.
    • Tighten all electrical connections and measure voltage and current on motors. Faulty electrical connections can cause unsafe operation of your system and reduce the life of major components.
    • Lubricate all moving parts. Parts that lack lubrication cause friction in motors and increases the amount of electricity you use.
    • Check and inspect the condensate drain in your central air conditioner, furnace and/or heat pump (when in cooling mode). A plugged drain can cause water damage in the house and affect indoor humidity levels.
    • Check controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation. Check the starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates, and shuts off properly.
    Cooling Specific
    • Clean evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils. Dirty coils reduce the system’s ability to cool your home and cause the system to run longer, increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
    • Check your central air conditioner’s refrigerant level and adjust if necessary. Too much or too little refrigerant will make your system less efficient increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
    • Clean and adjust blower components to provide proper system airflow for greater comfort levels. Airflow problems can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 15 percent.

Image result for adjust ceiling fans for summer

  1. Adjust the Ceiling Fan

    Move the small switch on the side of your ceiling fan to make the blades rotate counterclockwise and create a cool breeze. If you feel airflow when standing directly under the fan, it’s working.

Image of a view of a garden with house windows open

  1. Open Windows

    Use the breeze at night to cool your home without switching on air conditioners.  This also removes stale air and toxic fumes that have collected in the house.

Image result for spring cleaning refrigerators and freezers

  1. Clean Out the Refrigerator and Freezer

    By removing unneeded and expired food, air will circulate more efficiently inside the fridge. Clear dust from the coils behind your fridge to reduce energy consumption.  Don’t forget the dust bunnies beneath the refrigerator and freezer.

  1. Change your Air Filters

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  1. Program your thermostat for warmer weather. 

 

  1. Flush your hot water tank. Flush your hot water tanks.  This should be done once each year, so adding this to your spring maintenance checklist is a good idea. Chlorine and sulfur found in water leaves sediment inside the tank and can wear out elements inside the tank. Be sure your water heater is set at 1200F.Related image
  2. Landscape   Sometimes we forget that we can save energy by utilizing the places outside of our house. A well-planned landscape can give shade to your windows and roof and therefore save you anywhere from 15-50% (I usually use up to 25% for savings.) on your air conditioning costs. Well-planned trees and shrubs can also do double duty in winter months by creating a windbreak.
    As the weather warms you will want to spend more time outside cooking, cleaning the yard, planting pretty perennials.   This year try planting edible such as strawberries, parsley, edible flowers, tomatoes, peppers, beets, carrots, spinach, and many flowering edibles.  Just don’t use any chemicals on them.  Work closely with a reputable nursery, if this is your first time.

 

References:

https://www.country1067.com/2018/03/20/hello-spring

https://www.dollarenergy.org/spring-energy-saving-tips

https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/spring-and-summer-energy-saving-tips

https://livingupstatesc.com/top-7-spring-home-maintenance-tips-to-improve-energy-efficiency

https://www.energystar.gov/campaign/heating_cooling/maintenance_checklist

https://pemc.coop/6-spring-energy-efficiency-tip

https://quakeenergy.com/energy-blog/spring-cleaning-tips-energy-efficiency

Pictures that didn’t populate from their address:

www.delmarfans.com/educate/basics/what-is-the-proper-ceiling-fan-direction

www.afresherhome.com/do-air-purifiers-work-with-windows-open

https://www.cleco.com/documents/10180/0/009_thermostat_set.jpg/fe7d4dfa-9a56-4182-a70a-afe742a8bedd?t=1340399361000?t=1340399361000?t=1330579727000

lovelyjubilee.com/3109-the-better-of-deck-decorating-ideas-for-houses.html

www.pickhvac.com/faq/how-to-get-most-of-your-thermostat-setting