What Can I Do?

Here are a few easy tips from the U.S. Department of Energy to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home as warmer temperatures arrive:

Spring Ahead with Energy Savings

Service your air conditioner. Easy maintenance such as routinely replacing or cleaning air filters can lower your cooling system’s energy consumption by up to 15 percent. Also, the first day of spring could serve as a reminder to check your air conditioner’s evaporator coil, which should be cleaned annually to ensure the system is performing at optimal levels.

Open windows. Opening windows creates a cross-wise breeze, allowing you to naturally cool your home without switching on air conditioners. This is ideal in spring when temperatures are mild.

Use ceiling fans. Cooling your home with ceiling fans will allow you to raise your thermostat four degrees. This can help lower your electricity bills without sacrificing overall comfort.

Cook outside. On warmer spring days, keep the heat out of your home by using an outdoor grill.

Install window treatments. Energy-efficient window treatments or coverings such as blinds, shades and films can slash heat gain when temperatures rise.

Caulk air leaks. Use low-cost caulk to seal cracks and openings in your home keeps warm air out.

Bring in sunlight. During daylight hours, switch off artificial lights and use windows and skylights to brighten your home.

Set the thermostat. On warm days, setting a programmable thermostat to a higher setting when you are not at home can help reduce your energy costs by approximately 10 percent.

Seal ducts. Air loss through ducts can lead to high electricity costs, accounting for nearly 30 percent of a cooling system’s energy consumption. Sealing and insulating ducts can go a long way toward lowering your electricity bills.

Switch on bathroom fans. Bathroom fans remove heat and humidity from your home, improving comfort.

Learn more from the Department of Energy at www.energy.gov.

Setting your Thermostat Saves Energy

Naperville residents can save as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling by simply turning their thermostats back 7° to 10°F for eight hours a day from its normal setting. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates.

You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68°F while you're awake and setting it lower while you're asleep or away from home. In the summer, you can follow the same strategy with central air conditioning by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away, and setting the thermostat to 78°F (26°C) only when you are at home and need cooling. Set your thermostat at as high a temperature as comfortably possible and ensure humidity control if needed. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.

Although thermostats can be adjusted manually, programmable thermostats will avoid any discomfort by returning temperatures to normal before you wake or return home.

How setting your thermostat up or down a few degrees can save you money and energy