Snow is melting. Winter chills are giving way to calm breezes. People are trading winter coats for light sweaters. We can all breathe a sigh of relief: Winter will officially be over soon.

But while you’ve been cooped up indoors, bundled underneath a mountain of blankets and avoiding the arctic wasteland that used to be your neighborhood, your energy efficiency has likely dropped off the map. After all, who has time to think about energy consumption when a pack of timberwolves could brave the suburban tundra at any minute and eat you alive?

It’s time to come out of hibernation and reclaim the efficiency you had back in 2015. Here’s an energy checklist we’ve put together that can help you get started.

1. Change out HVAC filters

First, start with the dirtiest job – venture down into your basement and switch out your old HVAC filter for a brand spanking new one.

Why bother? For a number of reasons, the obvious one being it’s gross. After a few winter months of intense usage heating your home, your HVAC system has probably sucked up a lot of disgusting things, all of which will be collected in your filter. Continuing into the spring with the same overused filter could send mold, dust and other allergens into your home once it’s time for air conditioning.

More importantly – in our opinion, at least – old HVAC filters deprive the equipment of its efficiency. And when heating and cooling comprise nearly half of the average family’s energy consumption as the Department of Energy stated, optimizing HVAC performance could make sure that percentage doesn’t increase. In fact, cleaning all your HVAC vents as well only stands to benefit your efficiency further.

2. Reduce hot water heater temperature

While you’re in the basement replacing your HVAC filter, check your hot water heater temperature setting. Is it above 120 degrees Fahrenheit? Because it shouldn’t be.

Sure, a broiling shower may have been just the thing to wake you up on cold winter mornings, but now that it’s almost spring, knock that temperature dial back down to 120 on the nose. For every 10 degrees your hot water heater drops, the DOE said you can save between 3 and 5 percent on your energy bills. Think about those savings while you go wash up after spending all that time rooting around in your dingy cellar.

“Create a new springtime heating schedule for your programmable thermostat.”

 3. Reprogram your thermostat

Maybe back in January you needed the heat to click on every couple of hours to prevent you from turning into an ice sculpture, but changing seasons means changing HVAC habits. Create a new springtime heating schedule for your programmable thermostat that considers the rising temperatures and increasing outdoor activities for you and your family. Also, if any of your lights or other electronics are on timers, think about resetting those as well since the days are only going to get longer from here on out.

4. Plan yard work around future efficiency

After a brutal winter, your lawn is probably in shambles. It may take a few more weeks before springtime magic turns it back into the verdant knoll it once was, so while you’re waiting, plot out how additions or subtractions from your property could impact your energy consumption indoors. For example, cutting back or removing shrubs around windows will expose your home to more sunlight, which means one less reason to switch on a light bulb during the day. If you live in a particularly wooded area, removing large branches over your home can even increase indoor temperatures, a perfect way to stay warm in the early spring without turning on the heat.

All finished? Well, that wasn’t so bad, was it? And when you consider all the energy and money you saved in the process, not a terrible way to spend an early spring afternoon. Thankfully, the time you wisely invested into your home should sustain you – at least, until next spring.