The idea of “winter” is very relative. Up north, winter weather means feet of snow and temperatures in the single digits. Here in Texas, winter means temperatures in the 50s and having to throw on a sweatshirt. Wherever you live, cold is cold. It doesn’t matter if someone thousands of miles away laughs at your idea of cold.
But now the cold is once again going away. Spring is just around the corner, marking a return of mild weather, blooming of flowers and trees and college students everywhere planning that Spring Break trip to the beach.
The dawn of a new season means it’s time for a refresher of steps to save money during this specific time of year. So here are a few ways to cut down on your energy use as the temperatures begin to warm up.
Set your thermostat wisely. Bump it up as high as you can and still be comfortable in your home. A good rule of thumb is to not dip below 78 degrees when you’re home. If you can get by with 79 or 80 while you’re home, that’s even better. When you leave for the day, turn your thermostat up to 85 or so. You want the thermostat set to where your air conditioning system will occasionally turn on to regulate the humidity in your home.
If the weather is nice outside at night, open the windows and turn off your AC while you sleep. Just remember to close the windows before you leave for work the next day.
A ceiling fan is your friend in the spring. When it’s not super hot outside, a quality ceiling fan may be enough to cool you down without even utilizing the air conditioning. According to the Department of Energy, a ceiling fan can allow you to raise the thermostat four degrees without a drop in comfort level. It’s important to note that ceiling fans don’t actually cool down a room, however. They simply make your skin feel cooler by circulating air. So don’t leave a ceiling fan on when you leave a room.
Schedule a spring tune-up with a local AC company for your air conditioning system. These tune-ups are recommended twice a year: once before the winter and again before the heart of the summer. Springtime is a perfect time to get this service performed, and some air conditioning companies offer special prices.
On warmer days, don’t use the oven. Besides cooking your food, your oven also heats your home. That means your air conditioner works overtimes at a time when everyone else has the AC cranked up as well.
Change your air filters. Air filters are often said to be the lungs of your air conditioning system. If the air filter is dirty, your AC can’t breathe. That causes it to run continuously and sets it up for potential failure or breakdown. Continue to change your air filter every couple of weeks, even during the spring.