ST. LOUIS (WMBD) — Ameren Illinois is sharing some spring-cleaning projects that can help customers reduce their energy bills while having a positive impact on the environment.

Here is a list of seven projects that Ameren suggests customers tackle:

  1. Replace your air filters. The best way to improve the performance of your air conditioner is to routinely replace or clean its filters. Clogged or dirty filters obstruct airflow, which can impair the evaporator coil’s heat-absorbing capacity and make the system work harder and run longer. In fact, replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%.
  2. Give your refrigerator a deep clean. Refrigerators run constantly and use up to 14% of a home’s electricity. Keep your refrigerator two-thirds full for improved circulation. Next time you clean out the fridge, wipe down the seals around the door to keep them spotless, which will prevent cold air from escaping, and carefully clean the condenser coils. Dirty coils cause a refrigerator to work harder to keep food cool. 
  3. Check your lighting fixtures. As you clean your lamps, sconces and overhead lights, check for old lightbulbs and replace them with LED ones. They use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs also emit minimal heat, so they can help keep your home cooler.
  4. Clean the sliding door track. If your home has an exterior sliding glass door, clean out the track. Dirt and grime can ruin the door’s seal and allow cool air to escape.
  5. Put ceiling fans in reverse. As you are dusting off those fan blades, flip the switch on your ceiling fan to rotate them counterclockwise. It will push the cool air down so your air conditioning system does not have to work as hard.
  6. Let the cool air in. Take advantage of those cool spring nights by opening the windows to let the cool air in. Don’t forget to close them during the day to keep the warm air out.
  7. Plant trees for shade. Planting deciduous trees on the south-facing side of your home can provide shade in the spring and summer. When the trees eventually lose their leaves, the sun will shine through and warm your home in the fall and winter.

“Spring is a great time to give the often-neglected areas of our homes, like cooling systems and sections heavily impacting airflow, some attention to keep them running efficiently,” Tony Lozano, director of energy solutions at Ameren Missouri said. “Dust and grime can easily build up and cause your home to work harder, which you ultimately see on your energy bill.”

These saving tips are part of Amerens ongoing commitment to helping customers minimize energy expenses without sacrificing comfort.

More energy-saving tips are available on Ameren’s website.