Spring clean and save this winter

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(NC) Whether we’re in another polar vortex or experiencing a mild winter, this time of year usually means spending more time indoors. While it may not be the first thing you want to do, now’s the perfect time to do some winter cleaning that may help you save some money and save time in the spring.

Save the nicer weather for better things than cleaning your home. Get a head start now with these tips:

  • Purge old items. With all the time you’re spending indoors, you may start to notice items you haven’t used, clothes you no longer wear or toys that your kids no longer play with. Join your local Facebook, church or community groups and see what items you can sell for some extra money, swap for things you need or donate to a local charity. 
  • Keep your heater clean. If you have baseboard heaters, dust buildup can block the heat. Vacuum the heater’s housing and fins and wipe down the casing. If you have an HVAC, replace the air filters and soak dusty ventilation covers in a hot water and soap solution. This will improve the efficiency of the heater and help with electricity costs, while keeping your floors and furniture from gathering dust.
  • Deep clean your rugs and carpets. Since you’re spending so much time indoors, this is a nice way to refresh your room. While you’re at it, make sure the carpets and rugs are clear around the air vents or baseboard heaters. Remember, baseboard heaters should have some clearance above the rug or carpet so cooler air can flow through the heater.
  • Look up at the lights. Make a room brighter and cozier while using less electricity. Remove and clean your light fixtures and replace any old incandescent or halogen lights with Energy Star LED lightbulbs. While you’re up on the ladder, check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they’re working properly.
  • Clean behind the fridge. Pull your fridge away from the wall and clean the refrigerator coils according to your fridge manufacturer’s user guide. Dirty coils affect energy efficiency and reduce the lifespan of your appliance. Take this time to empty your fridge and give the interior a good wipe down.

If you want to see some additional savings this winter, contact the AffordAbility Fund to see what free energy-saving upgrades you may qualify for.