Spring clean to save energy

14 March 2014 | Rachel England

Time to shake off the shackles of winter with a good spring clean! Make sure you put these tasks on your to-do list and you’ll benefit from a cleaner home _and _better energy efficiency – which means lower bills. And put your back into it – just half an hour of cleaning burns 100 calories, so blitz your whole house and you can sit back and admire your efforts with a well-earned biccie or two.

Clean your oven and stove top

Caked-on grease and food is not only a bit gross, but it hampers your oven’s ability to work efficiently – heat that could be cooking your food is wasted warming up dirt, so it has to work harder and longer to achieve the right temperature. Save energy by giving your oven some TLC.

De-scale kettle

We all rely on our kettles a bit more over winter – a nice hot brew is what gets us through the cold days. But when was the last time you actually looked inside it? Not pretty, eh? Give it a good clean and the energy used to boil water won’t be wasted on heating limescale instead.

Clean behind fridge

Those coils on the back on your fridge are its ventilation system. Now, if you’ve ever sat with a laptop on your lap for a long time you’ll know what can happen when appliances don’t get the ventilation they need – they overheat! While it’s unlikely your fridge will simply shut down in protest (unlike a hot and bothered laptop, for example), clogged and dirty coils mean it’ll have to work much harder – and use more energy – to do its job. Use your vacuum cleaner’s brush attachment to give the back of your fridge a gentle clean.

Defrost freezer

If your freezer is chock-a-block with ice, you might want to think about turning the temperature down (or up, as is the case with cold appliances!), and defrosting it. This will ensure the appliance is working to keep your food frozen, and not working harder to keep the superfluous ice frozen. Plus it’ll create lots more space, and barbecue season _is _on the horizon.

Clean out tumble dryer ducts

You’re (hopefully) in the habit of removing dryer lint on a regular basis, but the machine’s external ducts need to be checked and cleaned, too, at least a couple of times a year. Dirt, dust and rogue pocket contents cause blockages which means the dryer has to work harder to generate heat – and tumble dryers are already big energy guzzlers!

Clean the windows

Make the most of natural sunlight by giving your windows a good clean. Cleaner glass means more light and less reliance on artificial lighting – and if you’re more likely to have the curtains open for natural light, your rooms are more likely to enjoy natural warmth, which means less reliance on central heating.

Dust everything!

Crack upon the windows and go to town on banishing every speck of dust from your abode (well, as much as you can, at least). Layers of dust over electronic appliances, light bulbs and air vents all hinder energy efficiency – and it’s not great for air quality either. You’ll be surprised at how bright your TV screen is once it’s had a wipe down. In fact, you might even be able to adjust the display settings, saving even more energy!

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