Mitigate the March-Thru-May Madness
In the past, it seemed that February marked the beginning of the end of the heating season. However, as the last few winters have shown us, late winter can sometimes make New York an even colder and snowier city to live in than the rest of the season. But this season has added yet another surprising twist to the narrative: the pendulum-like swinging from icy single-digit depths to 60-degree springtime weather within the space of a single day.
With weather so volatile, how do you keep your energy bills low and your environmental footprint small? Here are some conservation pointers designed to help you make sense of the tricky weather patterns we may be exposed to in the coming months:
- When spring-cleaning, make sure to thoroughly dust around radiators and vents to allow for the very best possible air flow. Keep furniture away from these openings.
- If you have a programmable thermostat installed in your home, set up a new schedule for the late-winter/early-spring months. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, set your home’s temperature back by 10-15 degrees for eight hours a day. Doing this can reduce total heating and cooling costs by 5-15 percent.
- Use the sun’s light to your advantage – it’s free! Keep your blinds open on cooler days and closed on warmer days.
- Reduce your water heater temperature to 120ºF. It will save you fuel and reduce the risk of scalding, while still providing sufficient temperature for a nice, comfortably hot shower.
- Use the warm or cool settings on your washing machine when doing laundry. Dry-hang as many clothes as possible, and run dryer loads back-to-back.
- When the weather permits, get some fresh air and cook outside to keep the heat out of your home.