Watt, Why & How e-Newsletter

Ten Energy-Saving Ideas for Spring

Spring cherry blossoms
Spring is the perfect time to get started on those outdoor projects you have been planning and to get your house in shape for summer. It is also a good time to look into new ways to save energy and reduce your environmental impact. While energy conservation is a year-round commitment, the warmer days of spring present a unique opportunity to make home improvements and lifestyle changes that will lower your utility costs. 
  1. Spring cleaning. While chasing those dust bunnies around, look for ways to make your home more energy efficient. Cleaning under and behind your refrigerator will improve operating efficiency, and dusting light bulbs will increase light output. When cleaning windows, check to make sure they are sealed properly.
  2. Check your air conditioner. Clean or replace the system's filter and adjust thermostat settings for warmer weather. Have your system cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional. Outdoors, trim back any plants or vines growing around the unit. 
  3. Change direction. As the temperature rises, reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. In summer, they should be set counterclockwise to create a downward airflow that will make rooms feel cooler.
  4. Let it slide. If you have a sliding door, make sure the track is clean. Dirt buildup from foot traffic in winter and early spring can damage the door seal and create gaps where cool air can escape.
  5. Stay cool with attic ventilation. Attic ventilation systems draw cool air up through the house, providing the same level of comfort as an air conditioner, but at a much lower cost.
  6. Window treatments. If you are redecorating, consider installing insulated, thermal-backed drapes. When closed on south- and west-facing windows, they help block out the sun, keeping your home cooler on hot summer days.
  7. Plant some shade. Arbor Day is coming, celebrate by planting a shade tree along the south- or west-facing side of your home. Trees will help to shield your home from the sun in summer, keeping you cool and reducing your energy bill. They are good for the environment as well. Call before you dig and consider the mature height of trees; do not select a location that will interfere with power lines when trees reach their full height.
  8. Air dry laundry. Now that warm weather is here, why not install a clothesline and dry your laundry in the sun? Air drying saves on energy costs and it is gentler on your clothes, helping them last longer.
  9. Shake a leg. Whenever possible, save energy and help the environment by walking or riding a bike. Public transportation and ride sharing are green options for getting to and from work.
  10. Go green. Start a compost bin for recycling kitchen and yard waste. Install a rain barrel to conserve water for use in outdoor landscaping. The idea is to reduce, reuse and recycle whatever you can.

Financial incentives

If you are considering any major energy-efficiency upgrades this spring, you may qualify for state or local tax credits or financial incentives that can help reduce your costs. Search the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) for information about incentives in your area.

Customers taking advantage of Appalachian Power's free HomeSMART energy assessment can also qualify for additional rebates. During the assessment, trained energy specialist will evaluate your home for ways to save energy and will leave you with a full report, along with recommendations on how to save money and energy. Additionally, they will install multiple energy saving measures including CFL light bulbs while they are there. Once the recommended improvements are successfully completed by a participating program contractor, customers can receive additional rebates up to $2,200 based upon the improvements made. For more information, or to schedule an assessment, visit aeprebates.com or call 1-888-446-7719. 

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