Reining in your energy bill this spring

While winter is typically the time when you're concerned about how high your energy bills can be, you can continue to reduce your costs into spring.

Temperatures are slowly rising, allowing you to put less strain on your heating system. However, depending on where you live, you may already need to kick your air conditioning into high gear. Also, don't forget all the appliances, electronics and other items you regularly plug in.

The good news is if you follow a few tips, you can spend less of the money in your checking account on your energy bill.

Put your windows and fans to use
If you're in a particularly warm part of the country, spring may feel more like summer compared to other places. If this is the case, hold off on firing up your air conditioning. While an immediate blast of cool air is refreshing, you can save money by opening your windows instead. As long as a nice breeze is rolling through, you'll stay cool for less.

Also, don't forget about your fans. In winter, you adjust your ceiling fans to run clockwise and help distribute heat throughout your home. Now that the weather is changing, be sure to switch your fans back to a counterclockwise spin to move cool air around your house.

Say hello to the sun
Winter is a gloomy time due to more extensive cloud cover, and the daylight hours are shorter. With the days becoming longer and brighter in spring, take advantage of natural light. This means throwing open your curtains and blinds during the day, which helps you in two ways: You use your electric lighting less often, and this reduced usage means your bulbs can last longer.

While you're thinking of lighting, consider installing new, more energy-efficient light bulbs. They don't give off as much heat as incandescent bulbs and use less electricity. In turn, you'll also burn less energy on cooling your house.

Get a head start on summer barbecues
Although spring weather at times fluctuates between hot and cold, don't let the occasional chill stop you from breaking out the grill. If you use your oven, you'll generate heat in your house, which could encourage you to crank up the air conditioning. Grilling outside helps you avoid this problem and can be a nice departure from the baking and roasting you were limited to during winter.

For more information about smart ways to manage your finances, contact Landmark Bank.

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