Did you know that the annual ritual of spring cleaning can actually help you save energy? Here are seven tips that will ensure that your home appliances and your heating and cooling system are running efficiently:
1) When vacuuming and dusting, remember to clean under, and behind, the refrigerator. Dust build up will cause the refrigerator to run less efficiently
2) While cleaning windows look for loose panes, cracks or poor caulking, which can lead to air leaks. In spring and summer, replace storm windows with screens to provide natural cooling. You may also want to consider replacing older windows with new, energy-efficient models.
3) Dust accumulation on light bulbs blocks a considerable amount of light. Wipe off light bulbs to achieve maximum illumination. When replacing bulbs, switch to energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
4) Leaky ducts often result in rapid dust accumulation around heating and cooling vents, causing your air conditioning system to run less efficiently. Have your system checked and cleaned by a qualified professional.
5) Dirt and dust buildup on baseboard heaters restricts air flow and reduces system efficiency. Open or remove the surrounding covers and vacuum or brush the fins and straighten any that are bent. This will help to ensure efficient airflow, optimizing heater performance.
6) Make sure ceiling fans are dust free and working properly. Reverse fans (downward) to circulate air and make your home feel cooler.
7) During spring cleaning, you may have more laundry and dish washing than usual. Always make sure these appliances are at full capacity before using them.
To help make your spring cleaning more energy efficient and save money, check out the Consumers Energy website for rebates on air conditioning tune ups, windows, where to purchase discounted CFLs and more than 100 ways to save energy and money.