While it seems like we’ll never dig out of the mounds of snow Old Man Winter deposited on the Adirondacks this year, spring has technically arrived. That means that soon, we should be enjoying budding trees, blooming flowers, and the return of a more temperate climate. With such a cold winter this year, the chances are your utility bills were a little higher than you would have liked. You might be wondering what measures you can take to go greener and conserve energy this summer. Thanks to the United States Department of Energy, we have a few tips we’d like to share with you on ways you can “spring” into energy conservation.
First of all, if you haven’t done so already, you might want to consider getting a home energy audit to make sure your house is as efficient as possible. An energy audit can help you discover the areas in your home that are contributing to heightened energy usage. If your home isn’t properly insulated or there are large drafts, your money might literally be going out the window. You should make sure cracks and openings are sealed with caulk or weather-stripping to stop the heat from getting in – and conditioned air from escaping.
You can save money, too, by using natural air to cool your home. Days can get hot and humid, but nights can offer mild breezes. On those evenings, turn off your air conditioning equipment and open up your windows to let the cool air inside. In the morning, trap the cooled air inside by closing your windows and curtains. Speaking of which, the draperies you use can help you keep your home cooler in the summer too. Choose medium colored drapes with a white backing for best results.
If you have an air conditioning unit, consider having it checked out on a yearly basis, in the spring, to make sure it’s running at its most efficient, and prepared for the heating season to come. While you’re at it, make sure you know how to program your thermostat for maximum energy efficiency. When you have a properly programmed thermostat, your home can be kept its coolest when you’re there to enjoy it, and warmer while you’re away at work. And, use your ceiling fans to make the most of your cooled indoor air. They’ll keep the conditioned air moving through your home so your unit doesn’t have to work so hard.
Spring and summer is the perfect time for lighter cooking – and using your oven less. Your oven, along with other heat-generating appliances like your dishwasher and drier – can add to the amount of heat in your home. Did you know that even incandescent light bulbs can add heat? Consider LED bulbs for better energy efficiency, and take advantage of the warmer weather by grilling out, and let your dishes and clothing air dry whenever possible. (Who doesn’t love the scent of clothing fresh from the clothesline?)
When you’re ready to work on getting your home ship-shape for spring and summer, you can count on Charlie Johns to help. As a full-service general store, we can help you get the hardware you need to get your home warm weather-ready, as well as more energy efficient. Visit our store today and discover our extensive hardware section filled with everything you need for spring/summer home improvement – whether it’s your year-round home here in Speculator, or your seasonal camp, we’re ready to assist you.