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Preparing your home for spring

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  The Sponsors of Mass Save® are sharing spring-cleaning home energy tips in an effort to optimize energy efficiency while also decluttering your home! These are just a few items you’ll want to include on your spring home energy checklist.


  • Check that the insulation in floors, walls and attics is properly installed and inspected to ensure even temperatures throughout the home.
  • Sealing, weather-stripping and insulating your home can do away with drafts and help save energy.
  • If you have a fireplace, make sure the damper is closed when it is not being used. A chimney can draw out as much as 25 percent of the heated or cooled air in your house if the damper is left open.
  • Check your furnace air filter every month, especially during heavy use months (winter and summer). If the filter looks dirty, change it. At a minimum, change the filter every three months.
  • Adjust your water heater temperature.
  • Set your thermostat to the lowest comfortable temperature. For every 1 degree Fahrenheit you set your thermostat back, you may save between 1 to 3 percent on your annual heating bill.
  • During the winter, flip the switch at the top of your ceiling vans. This changes the fan to operate in a clockwise direction, pushing warm air back down in the room. Change it back to counter-clockwise during the summer to draw hot air away from you.
  • Install a programmable or wireless-enabled thermostat.
  • Change your central air conditioner’s thermostat fan setting from “continuous fan operation” to “auto” so the fan runs only when cooling.
  • Examine the windows in your home for drafts.


  • Shower instead of bathe. A 10-minute shower can use less water than a full bath.
  • Repair any leaky faucets, as even small leaks add up fast and waste water and money.
  • Avoid running water continuously while doing dishes, washing up, brushing teeth or shaving.


  • Check your appliances to make sure they’re working as efficiently as possible.
  • Scrape dishes instead of rinsing them before loading them in the dishwasher.
  • Set your refrigerator to 35 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit and your freezer to 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Position your refrigerator away from a heat source, such as an oven, dishwasher or direct sunlight from a window.
  • Run your dishwasher with a full load and use the air-dry or “no heat” option to save on electricity.
  • Recycle your refrigerator.
  • Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. Washing clothes with cold water usually does not affect cleaning results and might reduce shrinkage.
  • Clean the lint trap in your dryer before every load to help keep the machine running efficiently.


  • Use the power management settings on your computer and monitor so they “sleep” when not in use. Shut down your computer when you’re done using it.
  • Lower the brightness on your TV or computer to a comfortable level.
  • Identify the lumens (brightness) you need and then choose the bulb with the lowest wattage (energy use).
  • Unplug any battery chargers or power adapters when they are not in use Even if they’re not actively charging the devices, adapters plugged into outlets use energy.


  • Use covers that fit tightly on pots and pans to shorten cooking time.
  • Use the smallest pan and burner needed for the job and match them. A 6-inch pot on an 8-inch burner wastes over 40 percent of the burner’s heat.
  • Using your microwave or toaster oven to reheat or cook small portions saves energy. It especially saves on cooling costs in summer, as less heat is generated when compared to your stove or oven.
  • If possible, cook many dishes together when using the oven.

  • Avoid peeking into the oven while cooking. Heat escapes when the door is opened.

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