Although it’s hard to tell in much of the country because of low temperatures and seemingly never-ending snow, spring is nearly here! It really is! Tomorrow marks the vernal equinox, the day when the equator passes the center of the sun and the Northern Hemisphere officially enters spring!
The first signs of spring in Washington, D.C., include residents of the city emerging from months of seasonal depression to spend sunny weekend days running or picnicking on the National Mall, enjoying a post-work happy hour or dinner on a rooftop patio (it’s still light out!) and walking by daffodils emerging from the dormant earth and forsythia in bloom. When I begin noticing all of these springy events, it also means one more thing: It is officially time for spring cleaning. Call me crazy, but I love spring cleaning. It is a great way to air out winter and let fresh air into your home. It’s almost like starting over, and it can also help you save energy.
Coupled with my spring cleaning, I also change the seasonal décor of my home. Usually this just means taking down the “Let it Snow” decoration on the front door and packing away the down comforter to replace it with lighter blankets, so that I can avoid needing to turn up the air conditioning in warmer weather. But why stop there? Why not take it a step further and accomplish a few simple tasks to help save you energy (and money) this year?
Energy Efficient Window Treatments: This can be as simple as buying some drapes to block out the hot afternoon sun while you aren’t home, installing an awning to reduce solar heat gain, or adding a new set of blinds to your windows. Just remember, if your windows are not sealed properly, you will still need to take the time to install weatherstripping to see big savings.
Storm Windows: As we say farewell to winter and greet spring with open arms, we also see an increase in thunderstorms, tornado watches and lots of rain. This is the perfect opportunity to think about installing exterior storm windows with low-emissivity (low-e) coating. It can even be an easy, inexpensive do-it-yourself project that can generate 10%-35% annual energy savings. In fact, it can generate as much energy savings as completely replacing the window at a fraction of a cost!
There’s no need to stop with just your windows; for more ideas on how to save energy this year, visit our spring and summer energy saving tips page.