Spring cleaning isn’t just the perfect time to tidy up, get organized and get ready for summer. It’s also a great way to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Yes, really! Cleaning and organizing can positively impact the performance of electronics and appliances of all kinds—and that can have a real effect on your energy bills. Let’s look at ways to clean up devices throughout the house.
- Use smart power strips to reduce “vampire power” loads. Vampire power is energy drained from the wall by your appliances even when they are in sleep mode or turned off. A “smart strip” can automatically cut power to devices you’re not using. Choose the best smart power strip for you with this handy chart from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
- Plug groups of electronics that you use at the same time—like your TV and gaming console—into the same smart strip. You can pick a strip that turns off automatically at a certain time or one that turns off everything when you power down a key appliance.
- Check the door seal. Sticky foods can prevent the fridge door from sealing. Wipe it clean with warm soapy water.
- Clean your condenser coil. Dust can collect on the coil, making it work harder and longer—while raising your energy bill. You can clean it yourself with an inexpensive coil cleaning brush, or hire someone to do it for you.
- HVAC system
- Your heating and cooling system uses more energy than anything else in your home. Routine maintenance, like replacing or cleaning air filters, can lower your cooling system’s energy consumption by up to 15%. And spring is the perfect season to call your HVAC professional for a yearly inspection and cleaning.
As always, stay safe and follow all appliance and electronics instruction manuals. If you’re unsure about how to best clean an appliance, don’t be afraid to call a professional. They can get the job done right and maybe even give you a few pointers for next time.
Happy spring cleaning!