If you’re like many homeowners in Shakopee, MN, you’re always on the lookout for ways to save money. Considering that energy bills make up a substantial chunk of the average household budget, that’s an ideal place to start. However, knowing what to do to improve the energy efficiency of your home isn’t always obvious. To help, here is a list of eight tips for a more energy-efficient home this spring.

1. Schedule an AC Tune-up

One of the best things you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your home this spring is to schedule an AC maintenance appointment. With the heating season ending, it won’t be long until it’s hot enough to require air conditioning. Your AC use will account for the lion’s share of your home energy use in the coming months. Anything you can do to improve its efficiency will help.

During an AC tune-up, the technician will check and replace your HVAC air filter if they deem that it’s necessary. A filter replacement may be necessary if there is a substantial buildup of dust and debris or if it has been more than three months since your last filter change. A clogged or dirty air filter can rob your AC of up to 15% of its efficiency. They’ll also check and clean your evaporator coil to ensure efficient heat transfer when you power up your system. Additionally, they’ll clean and lubricate all moving parts to help your AC work at peak efficiency. Finally, they will remove any leaves and other debris that have made their way into your outdoor condenser unit to reduce the strain on your system.

2. Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat

Another measure you can take to improve the energy efficiency of your home this spring is to upgrade to a smart thermostat. According to the US Department of Energy, you can expect an Energy Star-certified smart thermostat to cut your heating and cooling bills by 8%. Some more advanced models can drive your bills down even more than that. According to Nest, a smart thermostat manufacturer, you can expect their models to save you up to 15% on your HVAC costs. Smart thermostats from Ecobee can save you up to 23%.

3. Air Seal Your Home

Spring is also the ideal time to air-seal your home. This involves inspecting your home inside and out to look for any cracks or gaps that allow outside air in or vice-versa. If you find any, you should seal them appropriately. For smaller cracks and gaps, caulking typically works well. However, for larger openings, you may need a product like expanding foam to do the job.

You should also take the time to install weatherstripping on your windows and doors. This will help them keep conditioned air inside your home. You can also install door sweeps to create an additional barrier against air entry. According to the US EPA, air-sealing your home can save you up to 15% on your heating and cooling costs.

4. Upgrade Your Window Treatments

In the spring, it’s always nice to let as much sunlight as possible into your home. However, as the outdoor temperature rises, doing this can cause your cooling costs to rise. This spring, consider upgrading your home’s window treatments so they’ll be ready for the coming heat. Install shades on your windows to give you a way to keep heat out while still letting some light in. If any of your windows get an extreme amount of sunlight each day, install thermal curtains on them. That way, you can prevent as much heat gain as possible from the sun. Doing this can cut your cooling costs significantly.

5. Lower Your Water Heater Temperature

Your home water heater may account for up to 18% of your total energy usage. It’s a fact that most homeowners aren’t aware of, and they pay dearly for it. This spring, consider lowering your water heater temperature to cut down on its energy usage. Experts recommend that you lower your water heater thermostat to 120° Fahrenheit.

6. Install and Use Ceiling Fans

Another fantastic way you can improve the energy efficiency of your home is to install and use ceiling fans in as many rooms as possible. In the spring, it’s typically not hot enough to warrant turning on your AC. However, it may get warm enough inside that you’re forced to turn it on anyway in the absence of other options. Ceiling fans can give you a way to stay cool through the spring instead of relying on AC. In the summer, they can also help circulate cool air around your home to reduce your need for heavy reliance on air conditioning.

7. Switch To LED Bulbs

Springtime is also the perfect time to begin switching your home over to LED bulbs if you haven’t already. LED bulbs use 75% less energy than their incandescent counterparts. Plus, they last for up to 25 years, so they more than pay for themselves over their lifespan. An added benefit for summer is that LED bulbs also don’t emit nearly as much heat as incandescent or CFL bulbs. Therefore, they won’t raise the temperature in your home when you are using your light fixtures. If you have any halogen bulbs that you can replace with LEDs, you’ll see even more overall efficiency gains. Halogen bulbs can operate at up to 327 degrees Fahrenheit, so they heat your home quite a bit more than you may realize.

8. Replace Your Home Electrical Panel

Finally, if your home has a main electrical panel that’s over 20 years old, consider upgrading it to a new one. Older electrical panels use outdated technology that can rob your home of energy. Plus, they can deteriorate over time and compromise the safety of you and your family. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, modernizing electrical systems can enhance overall energy efficiency in homes. By investing in a new electrical panel, homeowners can benefit from improved technology, reduced energy waste, and potentially lower utility bills.

In addition to making your home more energy efficient, having a new electrical panel installed will get your home ready to face the ever-growing power demands of modern living. For example, if you plan on procuring an electric vehicle in the future, your home might need additional electrical service to accommodate a charger for it. You can choose a new electrical panel with ample room for additional circuits and one that can support upgraded appliances and systems.

Your Local Residential Electrical Specialists

With over 15 years of industry expertise on staff, Finch Home Solutions is your go-to provider of residential electrical services in Shakopee. We offer a complete range of electrical services, beginning with small repair services and progressing up to the largest electrical projects like whole-home rewiring. There’s no electrical job in your Shakopee home we can’t handle. We’re also Better Business Bureau accredited with an A+ rating. So, if you’re looking to upgrade your electrical system to improve the energy efficiency of your home, contact Finch Home Solutions today for significant utility cost savings.

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