Spring cleaning is an annual ritual practiced by millions of homeowners. Did you know that it can help you save energy and reduce your impact on the environment? While you’re chasing those dust bunnies around, consider the following tips to make your home more energy efficient.
Behind the fridge. When vacuuming and dusting, remember to clean behind the refrigerator. Dust buildup causes the refrigerator to run less efficiently. Cleaning out the inside of your fridge is also a good idea. An overstuffed refrigerator and freezer can restrict airflow and use more energy.
Around your windows. While cleaning windows, look for loose panes, cracks or poor caulking, which can lead to air leaks. Air sealing your windows is a simple project you can do yourself. If you have storm windows, replace them with screens to provide natural cooling.
Light bulbs. Dust accumulation on light bulbs blocks a considerable amount of light. Wipe off bulbs to get more light for your energy dollar. Replace incandescent bulbs with ENERGY STAR®-certified LEDs. They use 75% less energy and last much longer.
Air vents. Dust accumulation around heating and cooling vents could be a sign of leaky ductwork. Have your air conditioning system cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional. Also, blocked vents impede airflow, making your cooling system work harder. Make sure vents are unobstructed by rugs or furniture.
During spring cleaning, you may have more laundry and dishwashing than usual. Make sure these appliances are fully loaded before running them.
Many household cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that can pollute the environment, reduce indoor air quality and cause health problems. Any time you use a product containing these chemicals, you and your family are exposed to pollutants, which linger in the air long afterward. Commonly used products that emit harmful chemicals include pine oil cleaners, spot removers, disinfecting products, air fresheners and paint thinners.
To reduce your environmental footprint, and your risk of exposure to harmful chemicals, use nontoxic cleaning solutions and methods. Select products with no artificial colors, chlorine or phosphates, as well as recycled packaging. Look for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice label. Make your own cleaning solutions using water, baking soda, vinegar, borax and castile soap.
By going green, you can give your home that same spotless look, while keeping your family and the environment safe from harm.
Looking for more ways to save this spring? Check out our 66 Ways to Save.