If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll know that we like to help our readers prepare their heating and cooling for each season. We’ve provided plenty of tips on how to save money on heating during cold winter months, but what about when it starts warming up?
Though we’re wary of admitting it, it seems that spring may have finally visited our great frozen North. Snow is melting, ice is thinning, and some days it even looks like rain! Now that it’s (maybe) getting warmer, it’s a perfect time to start to prep your house to take advantage. Optimizing your heating and cooling for spring can literally pay, and it only takes a couple minutes. When you’re doing your spring cleaning this year, consider doing a few of these things, too:
Replace Air Filters
Air filters tend to do a lot of heavy lifting in spring. It’s allergy season, and all those pollen and dust particles floating in the air will end up in your home unless your filter is clean and ready to do its job. Filters tend to see a lot of action in winter, too, so it’s a good idea to clean or replace yours when April comes around. Your allergies will thank you!
Clean the Dryer Vent
A dryer vent is a flexible metal tube that connects to your dryer. It vents out the water vapor created when the dryer evaporates water. The problem is, as the dryer vent transfers hot water vapor safely out of your home, the pressure created by the vapor exiting can carry lint with it.
Over time, this lint can build up on the inside of the vent. Not only will this make your dryer less effective and energy efficient, it can also be a fire hazard. You should clean out your dryer vent once every couple months, especially after a long winter. If your vent tube is made of plastic or vinyl, consider replacing it with sturdier metal.
Reset Programmable Thermostats
Most homeowners program their thermostats a little differently for every season. Chances are, you turn yours up higher in winter to keep you warm and toasty when it’s cold outside. Now that it’s getting a little warmer, however, you can afford to turn down the heat a little. You won’t notice a difference, but you’ll save a bundle.
Make sure you actually reprogram the thermostat, instead of just readjusting it once. If you don’t, then every day you don’t re-adjust, your thermostat will heat your home as if it was winter time!
A lot of homeowners put their room fans away in the winter, and keep them there until summer comes. That’s a shame, because fans are useful for keeping you comfortable and saving money year round. Fans actually work by adjusting the wind chill of a room, not the actual temperature, so you’ll feel cooler without having to use your AC. It’s perfect for surprisingly sunny spring days.
If you feel you’re cold this spring, fans can still come in handy. Most ceiling and rotating fans have a setting that reverses the direction of the fan. This will warm up a room’s wind chill instead of cooling it down, which will help you feel warmer. Remember, though, whether they’re heating you up or cooling you down, fans don’t actually do anything to temperature. Turn them off or take them with you when you leave a room.
Vacuum and Clean Air Vents
All the cool or warm air in the world won’t reach you if your vents are clogged up. If your vents are clogged, they’ll kick up dust into the air after it’s passed through the filter! Dust, lint, and other household clutter tends to build up during the winter. Poor air quality can be a really gross issue, so it’s worth it to take little steps like these to prevent it.
Take a minute to clean vacuum, dust, or even wash off your HVAC’s surface vent covers. It won’t take long, and you might be surprised what a difference it makes. While you’re at it, you can double check that each of them is working properly, and that they’re open to letting air through.
Turn Down the Water Heater
A lot of homeowners like to turn up their water heater during the winter, to make sure they’re getting enough hot water. Unfortunately, this can put your water heater under a lot of strain, and drive up your heating bills as well. Double-check your water heater’s settings this spring. If it’s turned up higher than 120 degrees, consider turning it down or at least checking the manual for the recommended setting. Keeping your water heater’s temperature where it’s supposed to be will lower your heating bill and help your water heater last longer.
Spring should feel like a literal breath air, especially after a harsh Minnesota winter. Making little home adjustments like these will help you more fully appreciate the season, and you’ll save money at the same time!
If you want to be really ahead of the game, spring is the perfect time to have your AC unit inspected. We can tell you how it’s working and make sure it lasts all summer. Then, when things start to really heat up, you’ll be covered. If you want some help getting ready for above freezing temperatures, give us a call today. Happy spring!