Spring is in the air

            It seems like it was just Christmas, but spring is right around the corner.

            As the weather warms up and the days get longer, it’s a good time for a few chores that could save energy—and money—throughout the spring and summer.

            1. Tune-up your air conditioner. Air-conditioning weather is still a couple of months away, but if you put off having your equipment serviced until it’s hot outside, you run the risk of an a/c breakdown on a sweltering summer day. A qualified HVAC tech can replace your central air conditioning system’s filters, make sure it has enough refrigerant and clean its evaporator coils. A pro also can spot problems-in-the-making and recommend repairs so they don’t put your unit out of commission.

            2. Open the windows. Natural ventilation costs nothing. On warm spring days, invite spring breezes and sunshine in. It’s a great way to air out the house as you begin your annual spring cleaning.

            3. Turn off the heat. And delay your use of the air conditioner. Unless March and April are especially warm this year, enjoy the open windows for as long as you can.

            4. Seal cracks in the drywall on the indoor side of your exterior walls. You’ll find them around electrical outlets, cable lines, windows and doors. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that you can save up to 30 percent on your energy bills by sealing air leaks around your house.

            5. Service your large appliances. The refrigerator is one of your home’s biggest users of energy. Keep it clean on the inside and out—including the back of it, where coils collect dust and sap the unit’s efficiency. Clean the lint out of your dryer’s vent.