8 tips for a successful spring clean (and reducing your power bill too!)
The days are getting longer, allergies are kicking into overdrive, and the four-seasons-in-a-day weather is making it impossible to pick the right outfit in the morning.
It must be spring.
Yes, spring has finally sprung, and if you’re anything like us you’ve probably emerged bleary-eyed from hibernation to find your home in a bewildering state of disarray. Never fear! Spring cleaning is the best way to banish those winter blues and get your home ready for the glorious summer barbies that are right around the corner.
Not sure where to get started? We’ve rounded up a few spring cleaning tips to get your home into tip-top shape and maybe even reduce your electricity bill along the way.
1. Clean out the wardrobes
Ease into the spring cleaning by removing any clutter that may have accumulated in your wardrobe over the winter. This includes clothes, shoes and accessories that you haven’t worn in a while. Yes, it’s hard to say goodbye to your favourite garments, but let’s face it - if you haven’t worn them in the last year or so, you’re probably never going to wear them. Put on a brave face and give your surplus clothes away to friends and family, donate them to the local op shop or sell them online.
2. Replace old appliances
Looking for an easy way to spruce up the kitchen? Worried that your dodgy toaster could be a fire hazard? Replacing your old appliances is an easy way to breathe new life into your kitchen during your spring clean. When shopping for new appliances, be sure to take the products’ energy efficient rating into consideration, as this can help you save big on your power bill over the long run, and get in touch with your local council to find out how and where you can responsibly dispose of your old appliances. While you’re at it, consider switching out your old light bulbs for new, more efficient LED bulbs.
3. Clean the windows
When was the last time you washed your windows? If your answer is “I can’t remember”, they’re probably well overdue for a good scrub. Cleaning your windows allows more light to enter your home and eliminates any mildew and mould that may have built up over the winter. Avoid using paper towels as they’re notorious for leaving lint-covered streaks all over your freshly washed windows. Instead, arm yourself with glass detergent and a squeegee, a soft microfiber cloth or a handful of newspaper and get to work. Don’t forget to clean the hinges and window tracks - a bit of white vinegar on the end of a cotton bud works wonders here.
4. Check the seals around windows and doors
While you’re cleaning your windows, take a moment to check the seals. Faulty seals allow the air from outdoors to enter your home, which makes it less efficient and more expensive to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. The easiest way to check for drafts is to hold a lit candle near the window seals on a windy day. If the flame flickers or bends, it’s a sure sign that air is moving through the seal.
5. Test your smoke alarms
Smoke alarms can be the difference between life and death - but only if they’re working correctly. A spring clean is the perfect opportunity to check that your smoke alarms are functioning properly and the batteries are charged. Press the test button to check the battery, brush away any dust and debris that might have built up around the alarm and consider investing in modern photoelectric smoke alarms if you haven’t already done so. New fire alarms need to be replaced every 10 years, so be sure to check the expiry date, which can usually be found on the side or bottom of the alarm. Smoke alarms can be safely disposed of with your normal rubbish, although the battery may need to be recycled at a designated e-waste centre.
6. Perform a simple DIY electricity safety inspection
Spring cleaning isn’t just about making your house look pretty - it’s about safety, too! While you’re removing clutter, carry out a simple DIY inspection to ensure your electricals are safe and working as intended. This might involve:
- Looking for fraying cords
- Ensuring that appliances and electrical devices in the kitchen and bathroom are safely stored away from water sources
- Inspecting outlets for heat, strange smells and noises
- Checking that outdoor extension cords are rated for outdoor use
- Organising cables to minimise the risk of trips and falls
Please note that this should not be considered a professional inspection, nor should you attempt to undertake any electrical work on your own. If you’re in any doubt, please contact a qualified electrician!
7. Service your gas appliances
Gas appliances are fantastic for cooking and heating your home, but they do pose a safety risk if they’re not properly maintained. Most gas heaters, for example, need to be serviced every one or two years, depending on the make and model. If you’re using an old gas bottle, it’s a good idea to have it checked out before you fire up the barbie as all gas cylinders need to be inspected at an authorised LPG test station at least once every 10 years. You’ll find the previous inspection date stamped somewhere on the cylinder.
8. Don’t forget to clean your outdoor spaces
If your backyard has become a little wild over winter, take the time to mow the lawns, trim the trees and clear up any debris that might have fallen. There’s also a good chance that your driveway, deck or patio has acquired a thin layer of moss, particularly if the area tends to receive little sunlight. A hard-bristle broom and a water blaster can easily remove this build-up, while a coat of stain or a lick of paint can do wonders for rejuvenating your outdoor areas and protecting them against sun damage over the upcoming summer months.
A fresh start
Spring cleaning is all about washing away those wintry blues. If you’re thinking of wiping the slate clean and switching to a new power company this spring, we’d love to hear from you. Give us a call today on 0800 473 976 and find out why Grey Power Electricity is the provider of choice when it comes to low cost electricity.