With spring just around the corner, it’s a good time to think about a deep clean. Spring cleaning conjures up images of dusting, washing, vacuuming and general tidying. So how, you may ask, can these activities help conserve energy and reduce bills? Put on your marigolds, grab your feather duster and prepare to be amazed.
The KonMari method isn’t for everyone, but think of decluttering and organising as an opportunity to inspect those hard-to-reach and neglected spaces around your home. Do you have unopened moving boxes stored in the loft? Sort through them; and while you’re up there, check the insulation levels. If the insulation depth measures less than 270mm, consider topping up. You could save up to £225 a year on your energy bills by adding loft insulation.
Is your airing cupboard a catch-all for sporting equipment, rarely used tools and other odds and ends? Is your hot water tank buried in there somewhere? Clear some space and have a look at the pipes coming off the tank. If they’re bare, wrap them up [1MB]. Same goes for the tank – add a jacket. This could save you £10 and £20 per year, respectively.
Keep dust bunnies and dust mites at bay by sweeping and vacuuming places prone to collecting dust. Run a wet cloth along your skirting boards. Did you notice any gaps or cold spots? Fill those gaps [558 KB] to stop the draughts. By extending the draught proofing to your windows [607 KB] and doors [736 KB], you could save £25 a year.
Your radiators are also a hotspot for gathering dust. It often helps to have a long handle to reach those tight spaces behind the radiators. The long handle can also come in handy when sticking reflective panels [693 KB] behind the radiators, which can reduce heat loss – and reduce your bills by £15 a year. If your heating was on when you wiped down the radiators and the top felt colder than the bottom, use a radiator key to bleed the radiator, which will release trapped air.
Giving light bulbs and lampshades a clean will have your room looking brighter. Make sure the lights are switched off and have cooled down before giving them a wipe. If you use old-style incandescent lightbulbs, consider replacing them with more efficient LEDs [159 KB]. Replacing all bulbs with LEDs could cut your electricity bills by £35 each year. Better still, take advantage of the longer daylight hours and turn off your ceiling lights and lamps when you don’t need them for a saving of £14 a year.
An often overlooked magnet for dust build up is behind you fridge. If you have access to the coils, suck out the gunk with a vacuum. Clear coils can make your fridge run more efficiently.
If you have a tumble dryer, now’s the time to clean out the dryer duct (separate to emptying the lint trap). A clogged duct is not only a fire risk, it can also make drying wet clothes more difficult. To save even more money, consider drying clothes on a clotheshorse now that warmer weather is on the horizon. You could reduce your electricity bills by £30 a year by line drying in the summer.
With clocks going forward this month, ensure they’re set to the correct time: wall clocks, bedside alarms, oven timers and (don’t forget!) boiler controls. Adjust the time on the programmer by one hour and, while you’re at it, consider reducing the temperature setting. Although temperature perceptions vary, most people are comfortable in a room that’s 18-21°C.
Ideal temperature settings also exist for your fridge and freezer! Check that your fridge is set to 3°C and your freezer is set to -16°C. If your fridge or freezer has some ice build-up, spend time defrosting it to allow it to cool your food more effectively.
Lime scale building up on your showerhead? A vinegar soak will clear that right up! If you’ve already disconnected the head from the hose (for showers that get water from a tank or straight from a boiler), fit a low-flow nozzle to reduce your water use without a noticeable difference to your shower quality. This little device could knock £120 off your water bills as well as £75 per year on your heating bills. Reducing your shower time to 4 minutes a day will also help keep those costs down.
For additional ways to save money on your energy bills, check the recommendations in your Energy Performance Certificate [597 KB] (if you have one). You can also speak to our friendly team of energy advisors for more tailored advice to help you save even more on your utility bills.