Giving Your Home a Spring Cleanup? Don’t Miss These Energy-Saving Tips
March 16, 2016
It feels good to clean your home. It feels even better when a clean home helps you save on energy. Here are seven simple suggestions.
After being cooped up in your home all winter, you may be thinking it’s time for some deep cleaning, a little bit of organization and décor changes. There’s more to spring cleaning than the sense of accomplishment that comes with making your home more comfortable. Some spring cleaning ideas can actually make your home more energy efficient. Best of all, these seven really simple suggestions can help you save energy and money.
- Remove dirt, dust and pet hair from fridge condenser coils. You love your furry family members, but they may be a reason why your refrigerator is working harder than it needs to. Like your carpets and furniture, your fridge’s condenser coils are often an overlooked area that needs to be de-furred and dusted. To clean them, first unplug or turn your fridge off from the circuit breaker. Locate the coils, either in the front or back of the fridge. Use a brush to clean them and vacuum when done. And don’t forget to plug your fridge back in!
- Organize your fridge and freezer and label food containers. How often do you find yourself standing in front of your freezer looking for that batch of chili you made a few weeks ago, only to get lost in the other containers of pasta sauce, soups and various leftovers from dinners past? The longer you leave the door open, the more energy the freezer needs to get back down to temperature. Make sure to label and organize containers for easy food finding and easy energy savings.
- Keep the drip pans on your stovetop sparkly. Grease and food particles on your stovetop’s drip pans may leave them looking a little dull. Restoring them to their good-as-new shine allows them to reflect more heat back up to the pot or pan you’re cooking with, reducing cooking time and saving energy. A method that doesn’t involve too much elbow grease is to boil the drip pans in a pot of water with at least ¼ cup of baking soda for 15-30 minutes.
- Set a reminder on your phone to replace the furnace filter. It’s one of those things we always forget we’re supposed to do – replace the air filter on the furnace every one to three months. But remembering to replace filters is even easier now that we can ask our smartphones to remind us of those little things we should do in order to get energy savings. A dirty air filter makes your furnace work harder to circulate hot or cool air throughout your home, which could also shorten the life of your heating and cooling systems.
- Breathe easily with an energy efficient air purifier. Spring cleaning is not just about cleaning your floors, counter-tops, furniture and appliances – you can clean the air too. Removing dust and pollen from the air in your home this spring keeps allergies in check. Not all air purifiers are alike, however, as some use more energy than a refrigerator! Look for an ENERGY STAR® certified air purifier, which uses up to 40% less energy. The Sponsors of Mass Save® offer a $40 rebate on qualified models.
- Keep your windows spotless. Look out your windows in the spring for a welcome sight – the grass is greener, flowers are blooming and birds are flying by. But there is more to clean windows than great views. The cleaner the windows are, the more sunlight can come in to naturally warm up your home. Use liquid soap in warm water and a squeegee for more effective cleaning. Try to wash windows in the evening or on an overcast day – windows drying in direct sunlight are more likely to leave streaks.
- Hang energy efficient curtains. Spring is a time to refresh your home with bright colors and textures. A new set of curtains can make any room pop with color, but choosing the right ones have more than just aesthetic benefits. When drawn, energy efficient curtains do a better job of keeping warm air inside your home on cold days. They also help keep it cool and comfortable in the summer.
For more simple ways to save energy and money in your home year-round, visit MassSave.com.
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The Evolving ENERGY STAR® Program
Over the last two decades, the blue ENERGY STAR label has become synonymous with energy efficiency. Backed by the EPA, ENERGY STAR provides credible and impartial information that consumers can rely on to make well-informed decisions when shopping for lighting and products.