April is Earth Month which focuses on sustainability and energy efficiency for our planet. With spring in full swing here in the “Valley”, folks are setting aside days and weekends to do some good old fashioned spring cleaning. Your springtime un-cluttering efforts can not only get your house in tip-top shape, but also decrease your energy usage, save money and provide you extra cash in your pocket.
“How can cleaning provide you extra cash” you may ask. . . First start by examining where you’re wasting your energy dollars. As you scour your home for dust bunnies and cob webs they are easy to find, and many are simple fixes. You just need to know where to look, and the savings will really begin to add up as your energy usage decreases.
Here’s a few simple suggestions to get you started:
- Fans – Clean grease build up and dust your kitchen stove hood and exhaust fan. In the bathroom, dust ceiling fan covers and fan blades. Not only will it look better but also run more efficiently and save you money.
- Clothing Dryer – Clean the lint from your filter and exhaust hose. This money savings task will also reduce the chance for an unsuspecting fire.
- Refrigerator – Clean the front vent at the base and the dust under your refrigerator. Don’t forget to pull it away from the wall and dust off any exposed coils at the back. If you have a second refrigerator, consider retiring it. You can save up to $150.00 per year in energy costs. Plus when you turn in your old working refrigerators and freezers you can get a $50 rebate towards your bill from Flathead Electric Coop. For more information go to:http://wastenotproject.org/wheretorecycle_appliances.html.
- Bulbs – When you are dusting your lamps and recessed lighting, see what kind of bulbs you are using. Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy saving LED lights. They are ecologically friendly and free of toxic chemicals; EXTREMELY energy efficient and consume up to 90% less power than the old-fashioned incandescent bulbs. To add to the benefits, bulb replacement is much less frequent due to the long lifespan of a LED!
- Vents here, there and everywhere – Clean and go through all your exterior vents that are accessible. To include heating system, water heater, kitchen and bath exhaust. Make sure they are all free of dust, cob webs, lint, leaves and unsuspecting critters that made homes.
- Electronics – Many electronics draw electricity even when they are turned off. First stop overpaying to power these big energy suckers by plugging them into an advanced power strip. This automatically cuts the electricity to any idle equipment you use. So as you dust around your TV, computer, gaming and other electronic equipment, stop and take a look how you’re plugged in.
- Keeping it cool – With spring comes the hot months of summer. As you clean remember the most important maintenance task for your air conditioner is to routinely clean and/ or replace its filters. Normal air flow is reduced with clogged and dirty filters, which reduces your system’s efficiency. Keep in mind that systems in constant use or if you have fur bearing pets in the house, you are subject to more issues.
- Replacing Major Appliances – If you’re considering replacing one or more major appliances, you can really “clean-up” by checking out the rebate offers available to the folks in the Flathead Valley at: http://www.flatheadelectric.com/energy/Rebates.html. Choosing the smart option model will save you money and energy usage for years to come.
- Looking at the big picture – Planning home energy savings improvements or starting from scratch with a new home? Before the busy summer renovation/ new construction season is in full swing, give CENTRAL a call and speak with a pro. We can provide you a whole home assessment and make recommendations about the best energy saving options available and that fit within your budget.
Energy efficiency plays a role in almost every aspect of what CENTRAL provides to our customers. Whether deciding on a geothermal heat pump, a new energy efficient furnace, tankless water heater, or a properly sized air conditioning unit; we can help you decrease your overall energy usage, help with other money saving rebates and put more cash in your pocket!
As always, your Comfort is our Central concern, call 756-6656, for all your heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical and drain cleaning needs.