Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Spring Cleaning = Spring Saving
In the spirit of today being the first day of Spring (we know, it hardly feels like it) – we thought we’d blog accordingly! Below is a list of 7 places to check for Spring savings when Spring cleaning …
1. Light bulbs
When you’re cleaning and dusting off those light fixtures, why not dust the light bulbs too? A clean light bulb will give off more light, giving you more ‘bang for your buck’. If you have to replace any bulbs, consider doing so with energy efficient ones.
When you’re throwing out moldy, stinky, rotten food and scrubbing the grime off the shelves, take a look at your temperature dial; is it set colder than it needs to be? Is something blocking it from getting an accurate read? If you see fit, adjust the temperature so the fridge is kept at suitable setting. Also, take the extra time to pull the fridge away from the wall and dust off the back coils – this helps the fridge run more efficiently and with less energy (which = less money spent).
Although it is hard for many of us Minnesotans to imagine turning on the Air Conditioner, during your spring cleaning, check out the AC filter. If necessary, toss the old one and install a new one – an old, beat up, unclean filter makes your AC do more work than necessary, and a new one can save you anywhere from 5% to 15% on yourbill. A good rule of thumb is to change your air filter 2-4 times a year.
For many of us, the Spring Cleaning list doesn't include our dishwasher, but we suggest adding it! Bottom line: a clean dishwasher uses less water. How? During rinse and wash cycles, many dishwashers will overcompensate for the dirty area surrounding your dirty dishes. First, clean your dishwasher (door, shelves, racks, etc.) with warm vinegar water and then run a wash cycle with lemonade powder as the soap. Last, clean the seal around the door – this way your dishwasher won’t pump out extra heat due to leaks. Voila!
The dryer is pretty basic, and keeping lint filters clean seems like common sense, we know. This Spring, also remember to have your dryer ducts clean and like the fridge, clean behind your dryer to keep things running efficiently. If you’re really looking to save – boycott the dryer all together on warm, sunny days and use a clothesline!
When you’re cleaning all the leaves out of your gutters, take a second to check at the ventilation in your attic. Clean ventilation can help reduce the build up of heat (which means less cost on running the AC) and is also better for the life of your shingles.
7. Sliding Doors
Hopefully we’ll be using these soon to step on the back patio, but in the mean time - keep the sliding track clean. Dust and dirt can build up over the winter months and loosen the seal – clearing that out can assure you that your air conditioner isn't doing more work than it has to.
We know that Spring Cleaning is hardly exciting for most of us, but our financial fitness goals seem to be applicable to all areas of life: the good, the bad, the clean, and the dirty. Happy Spring and Happy Cleaning!
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