As we’re just starting to get over another record breaking winter, it can be hard to imagine the coming warmer days of spring and summer. The signs, however, are there. We’ve just had the warmest day since mid-November last Monday, though we’ve been dipped back into the ice bucket since. Experts say the worst is finally over, and they expect things to gradually get warmer over the next month. Most everyone is beginning to feel the change, and even those suffering from seasonal depression are starting to cancel their appointments with therapists.
All this to say that spring has finally come, and who wouldn’t want to run out the door to greet it after a winter like that? People are starting to change their wardrobes and going out more. Stores are switching their displays and products, some even starting to gear up for the summer.
As we ready ourselves for this welcome change, let’s not forget to ready our homes as well. It’s time for one of the great American traditions: spring cleaning!
Spring cleaning is a time to get that stale winter air and dust out the (finally) opened windows and let in some fresh air. In more practical terms, it has also become a time to clean out your furniture and appliances to make sure they’re in shape for the coming season and all that comes with it. In today’s modern world, this also means opportunities to find and fix things that could be using up energy needlessly. Here are some tips to get you started.
Clean Out Your Stuff
One of the simplest yet most effective things you can do is to change out or at least clean up all the air filters and screens around the house. Making sure your heating and cooling units breathe freely saves them from needing to exert extra effort for the same effect.
Any fans you have around the house will also work best when they’re not loaded down with dirt and grime. And did you know that changing the direction of any ceiling fans can also help? Keep them blowing warm air down during the winter but switch it up in the summer to pull cool air up.
Mind the Gaps
Simply crack the windows open at night to let cool air in or during the day to warm up the house, depending on the weather outside. Conversely, close them up at night if it’s cold or during the day if it’s hot to keep the inside temperature just right.
Check all your doors and windows to see if there are gaps that can be sealed or minimized to prevent your climate-controlled air from escaping.
Using an attic ventilator works in much the same way, where you can let warm air in during the day when it’s cold, or blow warm air out when it’s hot then seal the house to keep things just right through the rest of the day or night.
It’s also a good idea to make sure both your attic and basement are sealed and well insulated since a lot of warm/cold air escapes through them, making your A/C work overtime. Also, the insulation your drapes provide will also go a long way towards keeping the heat out in the coming months.
Check your heating appliances, especially your A/C and water heater, to make sure they’re cleaned out and able to function without hindrance. Drain and flush your water heater to make sure there’s no sedimentation at the bottom, which will make it harder to heat your water. Check to see that the tank is well insulated, especially for older tanks, and add insulation if needed. Keep it at a maximum of 120 degrees if possible – you don’t need boiling water for baths.
Washing your clothes in cold rather than hot water is another way to save energy that you could use for more tangible effects. Keeping your dryer’s vent clear of dirt and lint on the other hand not only lets it work more efficiently, but can also prevent fires.
On the other end of things, try to keep your A/C settings down even on the hottest days. On really bad days, try to remember what we just went through last February. Keeping your refrigerator and freezer free of frost and throwing out anything you don’t need anymore is standard, but also remember to clear the coils in the back of any dust and pet hair. This again not only lets them work with ease but can also prevent fires from starting.
For Big Jobs Bring in the Professionals
These are great tips for your residential energy usage for the upcoming spring. If you own or manage a commercial space then you need to call in the professionals. Level One HVAC has years of experience in the industry with a sterling reputation for work and customer service. Call us today at 248-486-6500 or use the contact form on our website to speak to a representative. You can also stop by our social media accounts to learn more: Facebook Fan Page / Twitter Feed / Google+ Account