Flowers and candy are Mother’s Day mainstays, but this year try something new— make energy-efficient changes around your mom’s house for a gift that keeps on giving all year long. But, don’t forget the flowers. She’s your mom, after all.
Here are a few tips:
Clean the ceiling fans and vents.
- Not only can they be hard to reach, but they’re prone to dust buildup. Clogged vents could make Mom’s heating and cooling systems work harder to move air through the house. By using the ceiling fan and turning up the thermostat by only two degrees, your mom can lower air conditioning costs by up to 14%.
Install and fine-tune her window AC unit.
- If your mom lives in a home without central air, save her the hard work of installing window units. Be sure she knows how to use the timer settings to keep the unit running efficiently. Setting the timer to turn on the unit when she arrives home instead of running when the house is empty, for instance, will save money.
Change the lightbulbs.
- Swapping out costly and inefficient incandescent lightbulbs in Mom’s home with LED bulbs can save up to $75 each year, and they can last 3 to 25 times longer.
Landscape for efficiency.
- Planting trees, shrubs and other landscaping features in appropriate places brings a bounty of energy savings, from cutting heating and cooling costs to reducing noise and air pollution. On average, a well-designed landscape saves enough energy to pay for itself in eight years.
Install a programmable thermostat.
- Help Mom set it and forget it. Programmable thermostats adjust when the heat or air conditioning turns on according to a preset schedule. Keeping the house warmer than normal when she is away and at 78°F when she’s home can save Mom up to 10% on her energy bill every year.