Money-Saving Spring Cleaning
Whether you love or hate spring cleaning, here’s some good news: Cleaning could save you money. Make the following tips part of your spring cleaning list and you’ll cut your energy costs by getting better performance from your appliances, exhaust fans, and lights.
Spring tips to save energy at home
Dry clothes faster.
Clear lint from your clothes-dryer exhaust hose. Have a flexible hose? Replace it with smooth metal ducting to improve air flow, dry clothes faster, and reduce drying energy use.
Don’t make your fridge work so hard.
Clean dust from under your refrigerator, the front vent at the base, and any exposed coils at the back. Another tip: Make sure products aren’t blocking the fan vents inside the fridge and freezer.
Clear the air.
Dust bathroom ceiling fan covers and fan blades. Clean dust and grease from the kitchen stove hood and exhaust fan.
Plug your home electronics into an advanced power strip.
While you’re dusting your TV, computer, gaming equipment, and other home electronics, take a look at how they’re plugged in. You can stop overpaying to power these big energy users (many draw electricity even when off) by plugging them into an advanced power strip, which automatically cuts electricity to any idle equipment you choose.
Use your bath fan.
Do you have mildew on bathroom ceilings? This is a sign of insufficient ventilation. If you have a bath fan, use it. If you need a fan, look for an ENERGY STAR® qualified model. These fans are very quiet and use little electricity. Be sure to vent bath fans to the outdoors, or you’ll risk moving your mildew problem to another part of the house or attic.
Keep bulbs and fixtures clean.
Dirt will absorb the light and reduce the efficiency. Another tip: Replace incandescent light bulbs with CFLs and use up to 75% less energy for lighting.
Take a look at any accessible exterior vents, such as for the clothes dryer, central-heating system, water heater, kitchen-fan exhaust, or bath-fan exhaust. Clear them of any blockage or buildup of dust, webs, leaves, and lint.