The flowers opening their petals, the birds beginning o sing, the weather warming up, these are all things that are… bound to happen any day now as we enter the beginning of spring. Any day now. Honest.
When you’re going through your spring time jobs, getting the house cleaned up, beginning that diet to get your “beach bod” ready, one job you probably don’t consider is how to make your home more energy efficient.
After all, energy efficiency is more of a winter concern, surely? You get your house all nice and heat retaining so that it stays warm through the cold winter months, and by spring you can forget all about it. Right?
Actually this is the ideal time to get your house up to scratch. After all, while your conducting a spring clean it’s the perfect opportunity to take a look at your house as a whole and find anywhere that might be leaking heat.
So here are some neat ideas for checking your home’s energy efficiency as the daffodils start to poke out their little heads. Which as I say, is sure to happen any day now.
Check Fans and Filters
While you’re spring cleaning it’s the perfect opportunity to go through all the fans in your home and making sure they and their filters are dust free. Filters should be washed or replaced regularly, but sometimes even the best of us have trouble getting round to them, so while you’re giving the whole house and once over you should take advantage of the chance to at least get them clean now.
It can also be worth changing the direction of your fans. Hopefully throughout the winter any ceiling fans you’ve get have been directing warm air towards the floor. Now it’s time for the fan to switch director and get the warm air drawn upward, cooling the room and keeping air moving around.
Thermal Backed Drapes
Thermal backed drapes are one of those perfect all-purpose furnishings that help you out at any time of year. During the spring and summer they will help keep your house cool, deflecting the sunlight back outside. As it gets colder again they’ll work to keep warmth trapped in the house with you.
Check for Air Leaks
While you’re giving a spring-clean, check out your home’s foundation walls. If you’ve an unfinished cellar or crawlspace, check that for air leaks. A good way to spot draughts around the home is to see where the spider webs gather. Where there’s a web, there’s probably a draught. Warm air is going to be leaking out of there later, costing you money.
Another place you’re likely to find leaks is if you have a sliding glass door. Particularly the tracks its sliding on. If these aren’t cleaned and maintained regularly the dirt can ruin the door’s seal, creating a draught.
We tend to think of energy efficiency as keeping your house warm, but keeping things cool can be an energy intensive activity as well. Check out your fridge’s condenser coils for dust and pet-hair, which can clog up the works and force the engine
to work harder than you’d ideally like.
Meanwhile, also check the seals on the door to make sure the fridge is closing tightly and cleanly. This machine is responsible for approximately 11% of your home’s energy use, so you want make sure it’s not having too big an impact on your energy bill.
Of course, spring cleaning isn’t just going to involve cleaning up the house. It’s also going to involve getting your garden straight. So this is a good time to look at your garden tools and see if they’re doing what you really need of them.
Particularly, if you’ve a petrol-powered lawn mower, you may want to move over to an electric machine. Petrol mowers are powerful, but are terrible for the environment, and expensive and difficult to run compared to an electric mower.
A lot of people like to check or replace their double-glazing around the end of the summer, so that everything is nice and new when the winter season starts. This makes sense on the surface, but replacing windows does, inevitably, involve leaving great big gaping holes in your walls. That’s something you only really want happening during warm weather. The major double-glazing providers, such as Anglian Windows or Everest offer plenty of special deals around this time of year as well, so it’s a good time to take advantage of them.
Sam Wright is a freelance writer who’s going to be making sure his home is energy efficient this spring.