Spring officially arrived at 12:15 p.m. EDT Tuesday in Michigan.
The start of a new season means fresh opportunities to spring into saving money by focusing on energy efficiency throughout your home.
There are simple and inexpensive strategies you can make to improve on energy efficiency and comfort in your home for spring, summer and fall:
Focus on the fridge
. An average refrigerator can account for 14 percent of home energy costs. Proper cleaning and maintenance, such as dusting the dirt from refrigerator coils and removing unneeded food so air can circulate better, can reduce energy consumption.
Fire up the grill or use the microwave
. Reduce the temperature inside the home by using an outdoor grill or a microwave instead of your oven or stove.
. Opening windows creates an interior breeze, naturally cooling your home without switching on the air conditioner. Consider keeping the air conditioner off and windows open when temperatures start getting warmer or hot.
. Adjusting your thermostat when you’re away can save you money. Set manual themostats to 78 degrees Fahrenheit on those warm spring days or in summer for peak efficient. Make the most of programmable thermostats, which can help decrease energy based on your lifestyle.
Tune up your AC
. Scheduling or doing regular maintenance on your air conditioner, such as replacing or cleaning air filters, can lower energy consumption by up to 15 percent. Also, clean your air conditioner’s evaporator coil and trim nearby plants to optimize performance.
Install window treatments
. Energy-efficient window-coverings like blinds, shades, screens and films can stop heat gain when temperatures increase. That helps cool a home and reduces energy costs.
Caulk air leaks
. Sealing cracks and openings with low-cost caulk keeps warm and cold air out while saving money.
Insulate and seal ducts
. Losing air through ducts can lead to higher electricity costs, about 30 percent of a cooling system’s energy consumption. Insulating and sealing ducts can mean lower electric bills.
Use bathroom and attic fans
. Bathroom and attic fans suck heat and humidity out of your home, increasing comfort.
Use ceiling fan
s. Cooling with ceiling fans allows raising a thermostat by up to four degrees. That means lower electricity bills while maintaining comfort.
Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes
. Air drying your clothes and dishes can save you money.
Check your water heater
. Using hot water to shower and wash dishes is year-round. To avoid costly repairs, drain a quarter of your water heater tank at least once annually to clean out sediment and debris.
Sources: U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. News & World Report, Consumers Energy, DTE Energy and National Weather Service Grand Rapids.