Spring is right around the corner and there is never a better time to clean than a big Spring cleaning. Keeping a clean house isn’t just beneficial for your health and wellbeing, it’s also essential if you want to save money. The more dust, dirt, and junk that piles up, the more money you waste. Part of this money is lost to inefficient appliances, but some of it is lost when things go bad or can’t be found. Here are 20 ways that cleaning can help save money around your home:
Vacuum Refrigerator Coils
Dust collects on your refrigerator coils and impairs its efficiency. Every few months pull the fridge out from the wall and vacuum around, under, and behind it to keep these coils free from dust.
Clean Air Filters
Every few months you should check the air filters. If the air filter is dirty, either replace or clean it to keep your heat/AC unit running at its most efficient. If you buy the reusable types of filters, clean them according to the directions.
Clean out the Car
All that extra junk riding around in your car is lowering the fuel efficiency. Carry only what you need for any given outing and leave the rest at home. If you have a problem keeping your car trunk clean, getting a trunk organizer might be a worthwhile investment as this will make it less of a mess and you can see exactly what should and shouldn’t be in there.
Clean Dishwasher and Washing Machine
Run a load with just white vinegar to remove deposits and gunk and make them run more efficiently. As an added bonus, you’ll also eliminate any odors with this tip.
Clean the Oven, Stovetop Burners and Toaster Oven
All that baked on goop that collects on the walls and the elements keeps the unit from operating efficiently and heating evenly. A quick clean should solve these issues.
Clean Heating / AC Unit
At least once per year, clean all the leaves and debris out of your unit and clean the coils. If you’re not skilled in heat/AC repair, you may need to hire a professional to do this for you, but it’s worth it to keep the unit operating at peak efficiency and to head off major trouble.
Clean the Dryer Lint Trap
The dryer runs more efficiently when the trap is clean so that air can flow freely. Build up can also pose a fire danger that could destroy the dryer and much more. While you are at it, there are plenty of other ways to dryer saving tips that can help you save some money.
Clean Dryer Vent Pipe
This, again, is for efficiency and safety. While the dryer lint trap is easy to access, the dryer vent pipe is more difficult and many people ignore it for this reason. At least once a year pull the dryer away from the wall and clean the vent pipe that takes the hot air outside. Again, lint collects here and reduces the efficiency of the unit and can cause a fire.
Clean Air Ductwork
This is to remove dust, debris, fur (if you have pets) and hair. Again, this may be a professional job for some, but periodically clean your ductwork to remove the things that inevitably collect inside that may be keeping the hot or cold air from reaching your house efficiently. If you don’t want to hire a pro, at least pull up the vent covers and run a vacuum attachment down as far as you can reach.
Clean Windows and Doors
Clean out the areas around your windows and doors to make certain that debris isn’t keeping them from closing all the way. If there isn’t a tight seal for windows and doors, air leaks through them causing the heater or air conditioner to work harder and cost you money.
If you clean out all of your clutter and keep things clean, you don’t end up buying duplicates of things. You stop the, “I know I have something just like this, but I can’t find it so I have to buy a new one,” syndrome.
Reduce Clutter II
Clutter that piles up on the floor eventually ends up covering your heating and cooling vents. When they’re covered, the unit may be working overtime but still not cooling or heating your home. Get rid of the junk and free your vents.
Clean the Pantry / Fridge
Keeping a clean and organized pantry, freezer, and fridge means that items don’t get stuffed in the back where they end up going to waste. When everything is organized and visible, it gets used up before it goes bad.
Clean House Gutters
It’s not fun, but it’s even less fun to leave them all blocked up when winter comes and the water that’s trapped in there freezes creating an ice dam. This will crack your gutters or even pull them away from the house. You also don’t want water and ice backing up to your roof line because it will seep under the shingles and cause rot.
Dust Light Bulbs and Shades
People often forget to clean your bulbs and shades, but all that caked on dust makes the bulb seem dimmer, meaning you turn on more lights to get your desired brightness.
Clean Baseboard Units
If you have a baseboard heating system, thoroughly clean the units to make certain that dust and dirt isn’t blocking airflow.
Clean the Basement, Attic and Crawl Space
Junk tends to pile up in these places and since they aren’t used often, they become perfect hidey-holes for critters. Too much junk can also encourage the growth of mold if conditions become damp. Keep these areas free from clutter and you won’t have to waste money on an exterminator or haz-mat team.
Ash, soot and creosote (a flammable tar) build up in fireplaces over time which can compromise both safety and efficiency of your fireplace. While most people list the danger of a chimney fire when talking about the need to keep the fireplace clean, another issue is the build-up can keep your chimney flue from closing properly. This lets warm air escape in the winter and cooled air escape in the summer making your heating and cooling systems work harder than they should, and costing you more money.
When it comes to spring cleaning, computers are often forgotten in the process. The problem is that forgetting to clean them on a regular basis will likely cause issues that can shorten their life. This is especially true if you have pets at home. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to clean a computer and it can extend its life negating the need to spend several hundred dollars too soon.
Just like a clean house, a clean garage can end up saving you a lot of money. The most obvious benefit is that you can place your car in it if it’s clean so that it doesn’t lose value to the outside elements. It also make it possible to find things when you need them so that you don’t have to buy something that you already have, but can’t find in the mess. In addition, it discourages rodents from deciding it’s a good place to build their home.
Besides all the things mentioned above, a dirty home can also lead to medical complications such as asthma and allergies, as well as making you more prone to falls when you trip over stuff. These all lead to higher medical bills. So keep your home clean, everything will run much more smoothly, and you’ll save money.
(Photo courtesy of mamamusings)