New Year’s Resolutions for the Home | Cleaning & Energy-Saving Hacks
It’s the beginning of a new year—a time when many of us resolve to keep a cleaner home, lose weight, save money, and spend more time with family.
To help you save energy, money, and time this year, we’re sharing some of our favorite cleaning and energy-saving hacks.
Resolution #1: Daily Cleaning
Everybody enjoys a clean home. Instead of tackling everything at once, get into the habit of doing daily wipings and cleanings. Clean your bathroom and kitchen after every use. Never leave a sink full of dishes before going to bed. Keep a dish wand in the shower to wipe down surfaces before you leave.
Resolution #2: Maintenance Schedule
In addition to daily wipings and cleanings, develop a weekly and monthly plan to keep your home organized and clean. Here’s a free app from Brightnest that can help you keep track of your home chores, with regular reminders of home maintenance needs. Keep an apron with the pockets full of rubber gloves, spare cleaning clothes, and other items for quick and efficient cleanings.
Resolution #3: Downsize and Declutter
Declutter your home by putting donate-able items in one box and items to be sold and repaired in another box. Take a trip to your local Salvation Army and hold a garage sale to get rid of any items that are either not beautiful or not useful.
Resolution #4: Deep Clean
Deep clean your home with a bucket of warm water, bleach, rubber gloves, and a good sponge and brush.
Resolution #5: Keep Shoes at the Door
Designate an area near the door to keep shoes so you aren’t tracking in harmful contaminants into the home like animal droppings, E.coli strains, dust, dirt, leaves, bacteria, and other unwanted matter. Your home will stay cleaner and your indoor air quality will improve. Click here for more tips on improving your indoor air quality.
Resolution #6: Clean and Seal Air Ducts
Have your air ducts professionally cleaned every 5-7 years. You can get an idea of how dirty your air ducts are by opening up one of your vents and sticking a flash camera inside to take a pic. If there is a lot of dust and debris, contact Pacific Air Systems for professional duct cleaning and sealing solutions. Cleaning and sealing your air ducts creates a more comfortable home and saves you around 20% of you home heating and cooling costs.
Resolution #7: Protect Your Home and Family
Keep your home safe and sound by installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home. Schedule annual electrical safety inspections and make sure your light bulb wattage matches the fixture requirements. Test your smoke alarms, CO detectors, GFCI and AFCI outlets and breakers every month.
Only buy electrical products that have been tested by an independent testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and replace any damaged or frayed electrical products. Install tamper-resistant receptacles in homes with babies and young children. Click here for more home and fire safety tips.
Resolution #8: Control Dust
Use allergen-proof bed coverings and pillow cases to prevent dust mites from taking over. Wash your bedding every week in hot water. Use a HEPA-filter vacuum to clean your home. Consider getting rid of carpeting, curtains, and other fabrics that add to your dust problem. Make sure you use air filters with a minimum MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) of 7. Anything below 7 will only capture large airborne particles—the rest pass through without a problem. Click here for more air filtration tips.
Resolution #9: Annual HVAC Maintenance
Did you know around half of your home’s energy use goes to heating and cooling? The key to an efficient HVAC system is to schedule annual maintenance for your A/C every spring and for your furnace every fall. But, there are several energy-saving tips and tricks you can do at your home to help you save money each month.
Resolution #10: Use Your Blinds
Use your blinds to make use of free solar heat. Close your curtains and blinds in the summer to keep solar heat out. Open them during the day and close them at night during the colder winter months.
Resolution #11: Change Air Filters Regularly
Improve your indoor air quality and improve energy efficiency by changing your air filters regularly. Make sure you are using the right air filter for your HVAC system. Set reminders on your phone to check the status of your air filter every 30 days. Hold the air filter up to the sunlight to see how dirty and clogged it is. If you can’t see light pass through, it’s time for a replacement.
Resolution #12: DIY with Family
Spend more valuable time with family by completing DIY projects together. They are a fun and creative way to improve your home while spending time with family. Here are some DIY home projects you can do with your family this year: fireplace maintenance, home heating, fire safety, save energy, camouflage outdoor heat pump, seal air duct leaks, improve indoor air quality, cozy up indoors, and winterize the home.
Resolution #13: Turn Off Lights and Fans
Remember your parent’s advice and always turn off lights and other energy-sucking devices when you leave the room. Don’t leave ventilation fans in your bathroom and kitchen when not needed—conditioned air escapes and has to be replenished.
Ceiling fans can be switched to their winter setting by flipping the little black switch at its base. This creates an updraft that brings warm air near the ceiling down to the living spaces below. Remember, ceiling fans only help cool people, not rooms, so don’t leave fans running in rooms when no one I in the room.
Turn off power strips and surge protectors when devices are not in use. Even when electronics are plugged in and turned off, they still suck up energy. They’re called vampire energy or phantom loads.
Resolution #14: Use Your Thermostat Wisely
Turn your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees when you are away from home or asleep. According to energy.gov, you can save as much as 1% for every degree you turn back the thermostat (if the setback period is 8 hours). If you have a programmable thermostat, use the vacation setting when away from home for long periods of time.
And remember, your HVAC system won’t heat or cool your home faster if you “oversteer” it to a very high or low temperature. The system heats and cools your home at the same rate regardless of the setpoint, so set your thermostat to the desired temperature and leave it there. Click here for more tips on saving energy and money with your thermostat.
Resolution #15: Consider System Upgrades
If you have a humidification, indoor air quality, or energy efficiency problem in your home, you may want to consider system upgrades and improvements. These include whole-home humidification systems, air purification systems, HVAC replacement, programmable or smart thermostats, and consultations with your HVAC Comfort Advisor. Find our if a ductless mini-split system is right for you.
Use William Morris’s advice to keep a clean and organized home:
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
Additional Tips and Tricks:
- Energy-Saving Tips for the Holidays
- 10 Ways to Stay Warm and Comfortable While Saving Money
- How to Winterize Your Home
- How to Seal Air Leaks
- Furnace Noises and What They Mean
- Heat Pump or Furnace? | Hybrid Heating Systems
- Proper Programmable Thermostat Operation
- What to Know About Your Gas Furnace
- Furnace Tune-Up Checklist
- Outdoor Home Maintenance Checklist
Since 1984, we’ve proudly served homeowners throughout Federal Way, Graham, Spanaway, University Place, Steilacoom, Sumner, Lakewood, Puyallup, Tacoma, and Gig Harbor.