With spring comes the annual ritual of spring cleaning. But is energy efficiency part of your spring cleaning plans? If not, there are any number of small changes you can make at this time to save money and energy.
Spring cleaning is an excellent opportunity to change the furnace filter. While it is a good idea to do this quarterly, it is easy to forget, and for many people furnaces may not run year round. So making this as a habit during spring cleaning every year assures that the filter is cleaned at least yearly. Filters are important because a dirty filter reduces air flow, which then requires more force to move air through the blower, requiring the furnace to run longer and harder, using more power in the process.
While changing the filter inspect the furnace to make sure that it is not worse for wear after running full time to keep you warm in the winter. If the furnace is old and inefficient or is on its last legs it may be time to start thinking about a new, more energy-efficient furnace.
There are other filters located throughout the home that should also be checked. Filters for whole-house water systems, refrigerator and in-sink water dispensers, vacuum cleaners (both standard upright house vacuum and also Shop Vacs), whole-house air filters, and room and central air conditioners are some of the more common filters in a home, Some filters need to be replaced outright, but some are made to be washable/reusable.
Washing the windows and screens is also a good energy efficient routine to practice during spring cleaning. Clean windows and screens make the home brighter by allowing more daylighting in the home and reduce the need for using lighting lamps and fixtures. Clean screens also allow more fresh air in the home when the windows are open to recycle the home's interior air. Natural light and clean air not only are energy and money savers, they enhance overall health and productivity.
So take the time to give your home some love, and save money and energy in the process!
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