Whether you love or hate cleaning, here’s some good news: Cleaning could save you money. When you make the following tips part of your annual spring cleaning list, you can cut your energy costs by getting better performance from your appliances, exhaust fans, and air conditioners.
Dry clothes faster. Clear lint from your clothes dryer’s exhaust hose. A coated or clogged hose can significantly increase the amount of time and energy your dryer uses. Have a flexible hose? Replace it with smooth metal ducting to improve air flow, dry clothes faster and reduce drying energy use. You also won’t need to replace this type of hose as often.
Don’t make your fridge work so hard. Clean dust from under your refrigerator, the front vent at the base, and any exposed coils at the back. Another tip: Make sure products aren’t blocking the fan vents inside the fridge and freezer.
Clear the air. Dust bathroom ceiling fan covers and fan blades. Clean dust and grease from the kitchen stove hood and exhaust fan.
Plug your home electronics into an advanced power strip. While you’re dusting your TV, computer, gaming equipment, and other home electronics, take a look at how they’re plugged in. You can stop overpaying to power these big energy users (many draw electricity even when off) by plugging them into an advanced power strip, which automatically cuts electricity to any idle equipment you choose.
Step outside. Take a look at any accessible exterior vents, such as for the clothes dryer, central-heating system, water heater, kitchen-fan exhaust, or bath-fan exhaust. Clear them of any blockage or buildup of dust, webs, leaves, and lint.
Be sure to dust and clean your air conditioners. Clean the back of window air conditioners, dust central-air system intakes and vents and keep them clear of obstructions. See that central-air filters are clean.
Efficiency Vermont was created by the Vermont Legislature and the Vermont Public Service Board to help all Vermonters reduce energy costs, strengthen the economy, and protect Vermont’s environment. Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) operates Efficiency Vermont under an appointment by the Vermont Public Service Board. VEIC is a Vermont-based nonprofit organization founded in 1986. Visit www.efficiencyvermont.com for more information.