Now that the flowers are beginning to bloom and warmer weather is on the way, there are some easy things anyone can do to save energy and money both around the house and at the office. Here are 10 energy saving tips courtesy of the Department of Energy:
1. Service your air conditioner. Easy maintenance such as routinely replacing or cleaning air filters can lower your cooling system’s energy consumption by up to 15 percent. Also check your air conditioner’s evaporator coil, which should be cleaned annually to ensure the system is performing at optimal levels.
2. Open windows. Opening windows creates a cross-wise breeze, allowing you to naturally cool your space without switching on air conditioners. This is an ideal tactic in spring and fall when temperatures are mild.
3. Use ceiling fans. Cooling with ceiling fans will allow you to raise the thermostat four degrees, because the moving air makes it feel as if it cooler on your skin. If you don’t have ceiling fans, use a regular box or oscillating fan (or use a “personal fan” in your cubicle). This can help lower your electricity bills without sacrificing overall comfort.
4. Cook outside. On warmer spring days, keep the heat out by using an outdoor grill instead of indoor ovens or stoves.
5. Install window treatments. Energy efficient window treatments or coverings such as blinds, shades and films can slash heat gain when temperatures rise. These devices not only improve the look of your home but also reduce energy costs.
6. Caulk air leaks. Using low-cost caulk to seal cracks and openings keeps warm air out — and cash in your wallet.
7. Bring in sunlight. During daylight hours, switch off artificial lights and use windows and skylights to brighten your space.
8. Set the thermostat. On warm days, setting a programmable thermostat to a higher setting when a space is not occupied will help reduce energy costs by approximately 10 percent.
9. Seal ducts. Air loss through ducts can lead to high electricity costs, accounting for nearly 30 percent of a cooling system’s energy consumption. Sealing and insulating ducts can go a long way toward lowering your electricity bills.
10. Switch on bathroom fans. Bathroom fans suck out heat and humidity, improving comfort.
More energy saving tips can be found on the infographic below.
Originally published on Green Building Elements.