Have you ever thought or heard about the origins of spring cleaning? We’ve all heard the expression, and the majority of us take part in this annual practice, but where did the necessity of performing this pre-summer ritual first appear in our history books?
Some believe it has biblical origins dating back to ancient times when the Egyptian slaves and Jews were fed unleavened bread (cooked without yeast) and continued this tradition during Passover to celebrate their subrogation from slavery. Speaking of tradition, many will prepare for Passover by scouring their houses for any signs of breadcrumbs that are not of the unleavened variety and sweeping them from the house before the arrival of this springtime observance.
Still, others believe it is tied to the Chinese New Year, which happens shortly after our own Western occurrence on January the 1st. It’s customary in the Asian culture to thoroughly clean one’s house, specifically sweeping, in order to rid their home of evil spirits prior to the arrival of another year. But wouldn’t that make it “winter cleaning” in order to prepare for the arrival of spring.
When it comes to cleaning and the importance of saving energy, some of these methods are somewhat “spring-specific” and should be tied together during this annual cleaning tradition. Check out these three ways to save energy at home, to include on your yearly cleaning list:
1. FILTER FOLLOW-UP
While changing heating and cooling filters usually falls on this list (and it should actually be done every two or three months for best results), this is the time of year to do some more thorough cleaning of these costly systems. Use some additional efforts to vacuum and/or clean the grates and ducts to remove excess dust and other particles.
This will not only reduce the toxins inside your home’s environment, but it will also help to save energy in the long run. Some homeowners opt to hire a professional to clean their entire duct system on an annual basis, but simply removing visible, excess debris and dust is beneficial.
2. BEHIND APPLIANCES
When we’re spring cleaning, we’ll often go that extra mile during this process, pulling furniture away from walls, vacuuming under the bed and special attention to often overlooked areas and the same should be true for appliances. After cleaning out the refrigerator’s interior contents, pull it away from the wall and clean the dust and dirt behind and underneath this major appliance – the same is true for the washer and dryer.
The buildup of dust, grime, and dirt that accumulates over time also impairs the ability of these appliances of working at their peak performance. Regular cleaning will help to save energy and in some cases can prevent fires or electrical difficulties.
3. DOING WINDOWS
Another popular cleaning statement we’ve all heard when it comes to these dreaded household chores, “I don’t do windows,” but this is still an inescapable part of cleaning, and we can do more during this process. Look for a lack of caulking, cracks and other small gaps that can let warm air in during the summer time and vice versa in winter months.
Inexpensive caulking can easily seal these openings that will help our home to be better insulated. While we’re on the topic, does your home need new or updated dressings for these windows to the world? Installing blinds, window film, insulated drapes and other items will also shield our house from harsh exterior climates.
So clean those windows, sweep the floors and change filters! Let the sunshine in when it’s cold and use window dressings to hold in the heat during colder winter months. If you’re looking for year-round savings on solar solutions, look for options that will contribute with cleaning up your energy bill without emptying your bank account.