October 26, 2014

HOME & GARDEN: Money saving spring cleaning tips

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Make Efficiency Vermont’s energy-saving tips part of your spring cleaning list and you’ll cut your energy costs by getting better performance from your appliances, exhaust fans and lights.

Get clothes dry faster

Clear lint from your clothes dryer exhaust hose. Have a flexible hose? Replace it with smooth metal ducting to improve air flow, dry clothes faster and reduce drying energy use.

Don’t make your fridge work so hard 

Clean dust from under your refrigerator, the front vent at the base and any exposed coils at the back. Make sure products aren’t blocking the fan vents inside the fridge and freezer.

Clear the air 

Dust bathroom ceiling fan covers and fan blades. Clean dust and grease from the kitchen stove hood and exhaust fan.

Use a power strip 

While you’re dusting your TV, computer, gaming equipment, and other home electronics, take a look at how they’re plugged in. You can stop overpaying to power these big energy users (many draw electricity even when off) by plugging them into an advanced power strip, which automatically cuts electricity to any idle equipment you choose.

Mildew on bathroom ceilings? 

This is a sign of insufficient ventilation. If you have a bath fan, use it. If you need a fan, look for an Energy Star qualified model. These fans are quiet and use little electricity. Be sure to vent bath fans to the outdoors, or you’ll risk moving your mildew problem to another part of the house or attic.

Look outside

Step outside and take a look at any accessible exterior vents, such as for the clothes dryer, heating system, water heater, kitchen fan exhaust or bath fan exhaust. Clear them of any blockage or buildup of dust, webs, leaves, and lint.

Shed a new light 

Replace incandescent light bulbs with CFLs and use up to 75% less energy for lighting.

For more tips, visit www.efficiencyvermont.com.

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