While you’re scrubbing and inspecting your home this spring, check for energy efficiency around the house. Making a few energy-related repairs could help lower your electric bill all year long:

  1. While you’re cleaning the windows, check for loose or leaky panes and identify any single-paned windows. These energy no-no’s allow cool air to escape from your home during the summer and steal heated air during the winter. That can raise your electric bill no matter the season. Replacing old, inefficient window panes now is an investment that will pay for itself in energy savings.
  2. Light bulbs looking dime? Wipe them down to remove dust and trash those incandescent bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs come in almost every size and mimic the glow of incandescent while using less energy. They last up to 10 times longer, too.
  3. Replace your dirty filters. Dusty filters make your air conditioning system work harder. Open the windows. If it’s not warm enough yet to turn off the heat and enjoy the fresh air, install a programmable thermostat, which automatically adjusts the temperature so you use less energy to heat your home when no one is there. The device can save you up to $100 a year on heating and cooling bills.
  4. Vacuum under and behind the refrigerator to remove dust build-up that decreases efficiency. If you use an extra refrigerator or freezer in the basement or garage, turn it off when not in use. If you use it year-round, keep it stocked or fill gaps with extra jugs of water or trays of ice so it will operate more efficiently.
  5. Check to see if your appliances are ENERGY STAR certified. If not, consider upgrading — ENERGY STAR models use less energy and are worth the purchase price over time, even if your older, less efficient appliance is still in working order.