Are you thinking about tackling your spring cleaning checklist and saving energy? Spring has brought in beautiful weather and gorgeous flowers. It’s time to open up your windows and let some life back into your home. Dust has settled. Air has become stagnant. And after the winter you’ve had, a good spring cleaning checklist can get your home in tiptop shape. But long gone are the days where scrubbing floors and cleaning out gutters are at the top of the list. This time around, you might have energy conservation on the brain.
No doubt you’ve heard about the impact of pollution on climate change. Or maybe you’ve just gotten tired of feeling the sting from the rising prices on your utility bill every month. But for whatever reason, you’ve decided to put saving energy at the top of your spring cleaning checklist. And it probably doesn’t hurt that these tips could save you some money too.
8 Essential Spring Cleaning and Energy Saving Tips
Spring is here! Take a look at a few spring cleaning essentials that will provide a simple, yet energy efficient way to save all year long.
1. Dust, Dust, Dust Away
No doubt you’ve heard this before but there’s a reason dusting is topping the list for your essential spring cleaning checklist. Dust is often one of the most overlooked aspects of cleaning, and homeowners pay for it. Small particles get trapped in the most inconvenient and barely noticeable places (until your electricity bill points towards the culprit). Dust forces things to work harder in order to get the job done. But it’s more than that, dust is attributed as the cause of many health concerns as well.
According to the National Center for Healthy Housing, “Exposure to dust inside homes can have adverse health outcomes, such as respiratory problems, asthma, allergic reactions, and lead poisoning (if the dust contains lead).” Here are some of the most overlooked places that need extra spiffing when you’re spring cleaning:
- Refrigerator coils – No one looks behind their fridge! It’s time to roll your refrigerator away from the wall, grab a vacuum cleaner, and get some of that dust and dirt away from the coils. Studies show that this simple task could improve your fridge’s energy usage by at least 30%.
- Light bulbs – Hopefully, you’re already using LED light bulbs, which can improve energy efficiency by up to 90% when compared to traditional bulbs. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to dust them every once in a while. Dusting will help your bulbs shine brighter.
Choose your fighter: feather duster or microfiber cloth. No matter how you get the job done, dusting regularly will provide many short and long-term benefits for your home.
2. Service Your Air Conditioner
Your air conditioner is kind of a big deal. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says that “More than half of energy use in homes is for heating and air conditioning.” We’d say that’s a good enough reason to make sure your AC is in its best shape.
For this spring cleaning and energy saving tip, it’s important to service your air conditioner. That means making sure it’s running to the best of its ability and not wasting energy.
Routinely change out your filters and make sure no dirt is trapped. If you’re truly interested in saving energy, consider alternatives to kicking on your AC unit in warmer temperatures. While it might be impractical for your lifestyle to quit the AC game for good, there are still ways to live comfortably in your home without consuming as much energy.
3. Make Your Own Cleaning Products
This spring cleaning tip is a great way to reduce pollution on a small scale, save some money, and minimize the amount of harmful chemicals in your home. The great thing is most of the ingredients for homemade cleaning solutions can be found already in your home.
Here are some of the staples:
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Essential oils
When you whip up a homemade concoction, you’re not compromising cleanliness, and you might find your home cleaner than ever before. Homemade cleaners can be just as effective as the stuff you buy in store, but because you’re making it yourself, they smell better too. Look into this great list of cleaning product recipes from Friends of the Earth.
4. Use Appliances During Cooler Hours of the Day
Believe it or not, when you use the most energy matters too. While individual usage may vary, your appliances make up about 13% of the electricity in your home. By using major appliances, like your dishwasher or laundry machines, during the cooler hours of the day, the concept is simple. These machines make your home hot when they run. Subsequently, your AC will have to work harder to keep your home cooler. When your AC works harder, your energy consumption increases and you’ll pay for it all when your electricity bill rolls around.
You could even run your appliances by taking into account time of use billing. Typically, utility companies charge more for electricity between 2-7pm because the demand for power is higher. By running your appliances early in the morning or much later at night, you could be using your heavy energy using appliances when it’s cheaper to do so.
If you want to keep an eye on how much energy you’re using, learn how to read your electricity bill for best results.
5. Change the Direction of Your Fans
Another pro tip is changing the direction of your ceiling fans. As temperatures rise on the , your top priority should be comfort on the inside. Warm temperatures typically mean an increased usage of your central cooling system. While many factors might contribute to rising electricity prices, you can do your part by lessening your demand for it.
By using your fans, you can actually reduce how much energy your AC unit consumes. Subsequently, this could save you money on your utility bill. Simply adjust the direction of the blades by flipping the tiny switch on your ceiling fan. This will push cool air downwards, making your home the best hangout spot in warm weather.
6. Change Out Your Smoke Detector Batteries
This spring cleaning tip might seem like a no-brainer. But there’s a reason why smoke detectors chirp when their batteries need to be changed. It’s because replacing batteries is a practice often overlooked. The National Fire Protection Association recommends people change out their batteries twice a year. They also cite dead batteries as the cause of 25% of smoke alarm failures in the U.S.
Once your smoke alarm has been cleaned, batteries replaced, and alarm tested, make sure your household can recognize the sounds it emits. Have an active evacuation plan in place to ensure everyone’s safety.
7. Add Window Treatments to Bring in Natural Light
Windows are your biggest friends if you want to improve your home for spring and save energy. If you’re privy to using window treatments, it’s possible you decided to go with thicker curtains during the cooler months. This traps heat on the inside of your home, sealing in warmth and blocking out cold air.
For spring and summer, you’ll want to do the opposite. Make sure you dust and clean those winter window treatments before you store them! Then, look into curtains that will better suit the spring weather. Warm weather curtains are usually thinner, even sheer. This is great if you don’t mind it being a little warm inside because they let the sun in. Alternatively, window treatments like shades or blinds will help keep your home cooler by blocking out sunlight when it’s unwanted. But this isn’t the only way you can use the sun to your advantage.
8. Call Us for A Solar Consultation
While you’re re-organizing and scrubbing away, think about the way your home is consuming energy this year. Solar energy offers a clean, more efficient way to reduce your carbon footprint. More and more, people are choosing to go solar as an earth-friendly and budget-friendly power alternative. As temperatures rise and sunshine is in excess, electricity bills for most will start to climb.
A home solar panel system could generate enough electricity to power your house and do so much more. When compared with fossil fuel generators, PV solar panels produce much lower lifecycle levels of greenhouse gas emissions and harmful pollutants.
Get your spring cleaning done and save energy in a real way this year. Call us for a free solar consultation today.