Spring days, fall nights – both have one thing in common: temperatures are unpredictable. Sometimes they’re cool, other times downright cold. Some days are warm, others hot and humid. All of this unpredictability means that without realizing it, your energy usage can get out of control.

Although it is often assumed that your highest energy consumption takes place during the winter, that may not be totally true. During the spring days, it can become a bit hotter than usual. Therefore, you’re tempted to turn on your air conditioner to cool off.

On the other hand, fall nights can get very chilly. As such, energy consumption increases as you turn up the thermostat to feel warmer.

In both of these situations, you can make some very costly mistakes that ruin your attempts at energy efficiency. Fear not, for there are some excellent tips to help you save energy – and lower your energy bills – during both spring and fall. Here’s what you should do:

Use energy-saving lighting

Many homes will use less energy if they make the change to energy efficient appliances. Part of that switch to save money is with better lighting. According to the Department of Energy, you can save $75 a year by simply using energy-efficient light bulbs. Look for bulbs with an ENERGY STAR rating, and it will be one of the easiest ways to save energy and money. 

This is particularly useful during fall nights when it gets dark sooner. You will need to keep your lights on for longer, boosting your energy consumption. But, having bulbs that conserve energy will lower your energy bills in the long run and mean you use less electricity throughout the season.

Unplug the electronics

Electronic devices such as gaming systems, televisions, phone chargers and computers consume electric power even when they’re turned off. If they are plugged-in, they’re using a small amount of electricity. And that could be costing you money. The same is true for small kitchen appliances such as your toaster oven.

Maintain your HVAC system

Regardless of whether it’s spring or fall, you’ll want your HVAC system working efficiently to provide the proper heating and cooling your family needs. Sometimes, your system can be inefficient because it hasn’t been serviced for a long time.

At the very least, check your air filters to make certain they’re clean. Filters covered in dirt and dust can increase energy use and heating costs. Similarly, air conditioning equipment with significant service needs will consume more power to produce cool conditioned air throughout the home.

Many households will use more energy in the fall if the heating system isn’t maintained. At Patriot Air, we can help you avoid this problem. Our HVAC maintenance services will keep your heating and cooling systems in excellent working order. Consequently, you improve energy efficiency and lower your energy bills.

It’s all about finding ways of conserving energy, and this is such a simple way to do just that.

Upgrade your windows

Energy efficiency and savings in the home can be lost because of poor window installations. If your windows are old, they can be terrible at insulating your home during fall nights.

Indeed, upgrading to more energy-efficient windows is a smart move. They should be double-glazed and with a good energy efficiency rating. This traps heat in your home when it’s chilly outside, which can significantly reduce your energy usage.

Effectively, it lessens the demand for your heating system. You don’t need the thermostat to be turned up too high as your home maintains the perfect temperature that leaves your family feeling warm and cozy. Saving money and cutting down on energy waste will make your pocket book feel warm and cozy too.

Open your windows in spring

Staying on the topic of your windows, they also hold the key to energy efficiency in the spring.

Here, the issue is that you turn your air conditioning on during the day. Realistically, it is nowhere near hot enough outside for you to do this. So, you’re using more energy when you really don’t need to.

Opening your windows will put a stop to this. It lets cold air into your home, naturally cooling everything down. This is perhaps the simplest way to lower costs for cooling your home. And in turn, energy efficiency increases as you save energy during the warmer months.

Upgrade your windows

Keep your curtains/blinds wide open

Your windows also have another role to play in lowering energy consumption in the home.

Specifically, this relates to fall nights when it gets darker sooner. As mentioned before, this tends to mean turning your lights on earlier, so the average electric bill goes up. However, if you keep your curtains or blinds open for as long as possible, you use natural light to your advantage.

Light from the sun will shine into your home, keeping it illuminated for as long as possible. Thus, you can maybe sneak an extra hour or two out of the day before turning your lights on. When combined with energy-efficient bulbs, this can prevent energy waste and provide serious economic benefits.

Also, by keeping your curtains and blinds open during daylight, you can save energy without even knowing it by taking advantage of radiant heat. During the course of the day, the room is warmed, including the furniture, carpet, and other items. That radiant heat is retained for a time once sunlight fades. Homeowners benefit most from this natural energy saver if insulated windows have been installed.

Keep your curtains and blinds wide open

Get a new thermostat

Another easy way to improve energy efficiency without making any true sacrifices is by upgrading your thermostat.

Realistically, every household should try to install a programmable thermostat. This lets you control the temperature of your home via mobile apps. As noted by Ross and Witmer, SMART thermostats like Carrier Infinity Touch and Nest are reliable ones to choose from.

The underlying benefit of these thermostats is that they automatically turn off when your home reaches a certain temperature. Consequently, you see lower utility bills and vastly improve the energy efficiency throughout your property.

These thermostats are also able to be set for specific functions. For example, if you leave for work at 8 a.m. and don’t return home until 6 p.m., your thermostat can maintain a lower, more energy efficient temperature during the day, and be programmed to reach a more comfortable temperature timed to your arrival. SMART thermostats can also be set to “sleep mode,” which helps maintain the perfect temperature at night whether you sleep cool or warm, thus helping with your sleep health.

Get a new thermostat

Turn your water heater down

Save energy when showering by lowering the temperature of your water heater. 

In spring, it’s usually warm enough to not need piping hot showers anyway. So, showering with warm water instead of piping hot water will make a big difference. Lowering the temperature of your water heater in spring and summer will make up for it being higher during fall and winter.

Turn your water heater down

Cook outside

During spring days, it can be beneficial if you cook outside now and then. If the weather is good, fire up the grill, and you can contribute to a more energy-efficient home. 

How? Well, cooking outside stops you from turning your oven on. Thus, you don’t generate as much radiant heat that makes your house super warm. Therefore, you don’t have to turn your cooling system on, which increases your energy use. 

If you have a gas stove, the simple act of grilling outside cuts down on your use of natural gas. Similarly, if you have an electric range, you will cut your electricity bill by cooking and dining al fresco. Not only is this a fun and entertaining way to enjoy a meal with friends and family, but it can also help reduce your energy use and helps with saving energy. 

Most households focus on saving money during winter or summer. However, the average household forgets that during March and April, with those spring days and fall nights, can produce wild shifts in temperature making energy consumption skyrocket. With the tips above, you will be able to save energy and money every single day. Your home will use less energy as you’re being more conscious of how much energy is being used. 

At the same time, you aren’t making sacrifices that impact your comfort at home. You’ll be cool during the spring days and warm during the fall nights – but with vastly improved energy conservation.

Cook outside