The grass is green, the days are getting longer, and it’s time for a little spring cleaning! There’s nothing like the sound of the birds chirping to let you know it’s time to freshen up the house and recover from those winter blues that hit the Portland, Oregon area. Here’s just the start of your …
Don’t preheat your oven. And try to avoid "peeking" by opening the oven door. Each "peek" can lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees.
Make sure your refrigerator and freezer are not running too cold. The temperature in your refrigerator should be 38-40 degree F, and the freezer 0 to 5 degrees.
Make sure the seals on your refrigerator, freezer and oven doors fit tightly. Easily perform this test by leaving a lit flashlight inside a closed appliance and if you see light around the gasket, replace the gasket.
Use Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs). Standard incandescent light bulbs lose 90% of their energy as heat. CFLs produce only a fraction of the heat and do not waste electricity.
Use fans in your windows to draw in cooler night air. Close the windows during the day to keep the cooler air in.
Insulate attic access and basement trap doors with R-19 insulation. Savings: 1-3 percent of heating/cooling costs.
Install proper ceiling insulation to at least R-30 standards. Insulate walls, floors and heating ducts, too. Savings: up to 25% of heating and cooling costs.
Install storm or thermal (replacement) windows. These tightly fitting windows give the benefit of double-pane glass. Air trapped between the two panes acts as a thermal insulator, keeping your heated air inside where it belongs. Be sure to get windows that have the new super-efficient, low-emissivity glazing.
Use clear plastic sheets to insulate windows during the heating season. Savings: 2-7 percent of heating/cooling costs.