When you think about spring, you may picture warmer weather, green grass, blossoming flowers and trees filled with budding leaves — or you may think about setting the clocks forward an hour as daylight saving time comes to an end.
Daylight saving time was first enacted in the U.S. during World War I as an energy-saving measure. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Uniform Time Act of 1966 that required the U.S. to observe six months of daylight saving time and six months of standard time, or “fall back, spring forward.”
Losing an hour affords us the opportunity to think about how to save energy in our own homes. While Williams is helping to save energy costs with the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline expansion that will bring low-cost, domestic natural gas to more homes and families, you can take some basic steps around your home that could help decrease your energy bills. Here are five energy-saving tips to consider as spring approaches:
Service your heating and cooling units
Hiring a technician to maintain and service your heating and cooling systems can help you to save energy and money, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. While more complex maintenance and service are best left to the professionals, you can routinely replace or clean your air filters, which can reduce energy consumption by up to 15 percent.
Clean the fridge
One of the biggest energy hogs in the home is your refrigerator, which can use nearly 14 percent of your monthly energy. By performing a little spring cleaning on your fridge, you can cut down on its energy consumption and your energy bills. Clear dirt and dust from coils, and remove unwanted food to allow better air circulation and increased efficiency.
Use natural ventilation
Natural ventilation is a great way to decrease your electricity bill. Instead of running your air conditioner all night, open your windows to allow in the cool air. When you wake up, shut windows and blinds to capture this cool air inside your home.
Fix hot air leaks
Hot air leaking into your home causes your air conditioner to run more, thus increasing your energy costs. Stop warm air from leaking inside by sealing cracks and openings throughout the home, and add caulk or weatherstripping to leaky doors and windows.
Become a fan of your ceiling fan
Your ceiling fan in the winter should be pushing warm air toward the floor. In the spring, you’ll want to switch the fan’s direction to draw air upward causing it to cool the room and ensure constant air flow. Turn off the fan when no one is in the room.
With these simple tips, you can help save energy and money on your energy bills. Be sure to let your friends and family know how they can reduce energy use by sharing this article with them.