Get Your Home Ready for Spring

Minimizing moisture and planting smart can help save energy and improve your home.  

Spring is in the air, and MGE's energy experts have tips to help you stay comfortable and save energy this season! 

 

Prevent excess moisture 

Spring is a great time to get your dehumidifier ready for the increased humidity the season brings. While it's important to control high humidity in basements to prevent mold growth and improve indoor air quality, dehumidifiers can cost as much as $50 per month to operate. Look for ways to control moisture and reduce run time by: 

  • Checking gutter and downspout drainage. 
  • Sloping soil away from your home's foundation. 
  • Looking for the ENERGY STAR® label when buying a new dehumidifier. 


Check your air returns  

Take a few moments to wipe any dust that may have gathered on your vents, and if your home has both high (a grate higher up on the wall) and low (a grate closer to the floor) air returns – give them a quick switch. When the seasons change and we go from heating to cooling, it's helpful to close the lower return and ensure the higher one is open. This encourages the warmer air to get sucked into the return ductwork and sent back to get cooled once again. 

 

Get set for spring break 

Water heating is the second-highest home energy cost for most households in Wisconsin. Be sure to turn your water heater control to the vacation or pilot setting if you'll be away for more than two days.  

Taking a few moments to unplug your phone chargers, printers, computers and other electronics while you're away is another easy way to save energy. These devices can still use energy when not in use and can account for 5% to 10% of your total energy use. 

 

Energy-smart landscaping 

If landscaping is on your to-do list this spring, plant strategically. Smart landscaping can save up to 25% of the energy a typical household uses, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.  

For example, large, leafy trees or vine-covered trellises help block the sun, especially if you have windows facing west. Shading windows is more important than shading walls because windows let in more unwanted heat.  

Researching which plants work best for our area also can help reduce your need to water in the summer, which is another part of creating a more sustainable home! 

If you live near power lines, MGE has a planting guide at mge.com with trees and shrubs that can be planted safely near or under power lines. And, don't forget to call Diggers Hotline at 811 before you dig!  

 

Free energy expert advice 

By working together, we can reach our goal of net-zero carbon electricity by 2050. Being energy efficient and conserving resources is something we all can do to help us reach our goals. 

MGE can provide tips and answer your questions about saving energy. Call the MGE Home Energy Line at (608) 252-7117 or email AskExperts@mge.com

published: Feb-25-2020