You made it! You’ve gotten through the snow and frigid temps and have officially arrived at one of Michigan’s loveliest seasons. Now it’s time to complete those home maintenance projects you’ve been planning.
We have one more important project to add to your list – making sure that your home is energy efficient. Not only will this help you protect the environment by using less energy, but it can also reduce your monthly utility costs by 20-30 percent.
Use this energy efficiency checklist as you prepare your home for warmer weather:
- Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats offer several benefits, including cost savings, convenience, and comfort. It saves you money by ensuring your air conditioner doesn’t run unnecessarily (e.g., when you’re sleeping or not at home), you can put it on a schedule and not worry about manually adjusting it multiple times during the day You can even control it from your computer or smartphone.
- Get a handle on air leaks. No one wants warm air leaking into their home, nor do they want fresh air to escape, during the summer. Check for air leaks by holding a lit candle or incense stick by your home’s windows, chimney, doors or outlets. If you notice that the smoke begins to blow sideways, you may need to remedy an air leak with caulk or weatherstripping.
- Tune up your A/C. Contact an HVAC professional to get your air conditioner cleaned and perform other maintenance work, so it runs efficiently.
- Use blinds and shades for relief. Closing blinds and shades on sun-facing windows on sunny days is a simple way to keep your home comfortable.
- Don’t underestimate ceiling fans. Ceiling fans were created to cool people, not rooms, by pulling up warm air then pushing it down to create a cool breeze. Install a counterclockwise-rotating ceiling fan in a typically warmer, high-traffic room to lower the amount of air conditioning needed to cool it.
- It’s all in the lights. Did you know that traditional light bulbs draw in the heat? Switch your home’s incandescent or fluorescent bulbs for LED lighting that stays cool to the touch and conducts less heat.
- Unblock your vents. Remove carpeting, furniture, or rugs covering your home’s vents, so your air conditioning doesn’t have to work harder to cool your home.