How to spring clean your home to make it more energy efficient

Adopting energy efficient cleaning practices at home offer a significant opportunity to reduce costs, improve operating performance and contribute to a cleaner environment. Take a look at some guidelines below on how periodic cleaning can add up to saving you money:

Hang clothes out to dry.

If the weather allows it, head outside and dry your laundry on a clothesline. The sun’s ultraviolet light will help eliminate bacteria and dust mites. While clothes dryers get the job done faster, they also use up energy. By hanging your clothes out you’ll be cutting greenhouse gases by about three kilograms per load.

Run ceiling fans counterclockwise.

This way, the airflow produced creates a wind-chill effect, making you ‘feel’ cooler.

Dust off and clean electronics, light bulbs and ventilation units.

Dust prevents electronics and other infrastructure elements from running at maximum capacity. Make sure to dust all light bulbs, office equipment, electronics and vents. Clean bulbs provide more light for the money. If you still have any incandescent bulbs, replace them with compact fluorescents – they use 75 percent less energy.

Clean oven.

Cleaning your oven will keep it running efficiently. Instead of using the self-clean feature, make a non-toxic oven cleaner at home with basic ingredients like baking soda, liquid soap water and white vinegar.

Vacum refrigerator coil.

Dust that builds up on refrigerator coils can force your fridge to work harder to keep things cold.

Thermostat smarts.

In warmer months, the recommended setting is 78F. This is high enough to keep your air conditioning from running too frequently (saving you money), but low enough to keep you cool.

Clean out dryer ducts.

Clean your dryer duct at least twice a year. A blocked duct causes your dryer to work harder and uses more energy.

Replace HVAC filter.

Although it varies depending on the HVAC and conditions in your home, a standard filter should be changed every month or, at least, every three months. A dirty filter cuts down on the efficiency of your HVAC, so your’re using more energy and spending more money than you have to.

Clean sliding door track.

If you have a sliding door leading outdoors, make sure the track is clean – a dirty track can ruin the door’s seal and create gaps where heat or cold air can escape.

Plug appliances into a power bar.

Even when they’re turned off, many home appliances continue to consume energy in stand-by mode, accounting for up to 10 per cent of your household’s electricity bill. Plugging them into a power bar that you turn off when you’re not using your TV, computer, or entertainment system helps shut down this waste.