Your Seasonal Checklist for a Healthier Home
Every once in a while, you could do much worse than planning some time to go through the checklist below and make sure that your home is in good, healthy shape.
Stripping power — Manage wasted energy by using power strips for all your electronic devices: computers, TV, coffee machines, and just about any modern device that insists on staying ‘alive,’ whether it’s on or not. Those vampires can take up to 10% of your energy bill, but they can also be put to rest with the flip of a power strip switch.
Frozen — Temperature control is critical to ensuring that your food supplies last as long as they can in your refrigerator. Make it a point of adjusting the temperature of your appliances once every season. Use an appliance thermometer and let it sit overnight in a glass of water placed at the center of your fridge or freezer. Refer to this guide to set the ideal temperature.
Load up — Half-full is half empty. Ensure that our washing appliances are full before you set them to clean your dishes or clothes. Those dumb machines cannot tell the difference between load sizes and will use the same amount of water and heat, no matter how small the loads are. Be responsible: save yourself the money and stop wasting energy. Use short cycles whenever possible, and adjust the water temperature to your needs. Boiling clothes is not the best way to preserve them, and an extended sauna won’t help with cleanliness.
Thermostat adjustments — Regulated ambient temperature control through the central heating and cooling system is where most of the energy gets used… and wasted. Short of installing an "intelligent" thermostat, make sure that you keep an eye on it at regular intervals during the day. It’s a habit that pays for itself. Use this guide and adapt it to your own comfort needs.
Green cleaners — Switch to non-toxic, green cleaners. Better yet, make your own with the help of these simple recipes. You and your loved ones will breathe easier and maybe even longer.
No leaks left behind — Inspect every air ducts, suspicious windows, and doors for leaks. The smallest opening can be costly, so make sure to isolate your home environment correctly.
Mind the leaks — Water is not free, despite the appearances. Check every faucet and toilet to make sure that they’re not leaking precious water back into the drain. Drip by drip, you can save thousands of gallons of water every year. Check out this guide if you don’t feel up to the task.
Pool-top savings — If you have a pool, keep the cover on it. While it can be a bit of a hassle, it’ll pay back on water cleaning duties, temperature control, as well as save needlessly evaporating water, which you won’t have to keep refilling.
Light upgrades — Switch to energy-efficient bulbs. Don’t settle for those old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs: They seem cheaper but they require a lot more energy to keep the lights on, and they have a tendency to burn out quickly. Newer energy-efficient bulbs consume 75% less energy and last 8x longer. If you can afford them, LEDs are an even better option, on all counts, and in the long run. Let this guide light your way.
Water heater down — Balance the temperature settings of your water heater to ensure that you’re not wasting energy. You can usually get by just fine using the 120 degrees F setting.
Clothes dryer — Use the sun and air to your advantage and minimize the use of your clothes dryer. Remember that regardless of the amount of softener and scented drying sheets you use, the best outcome for a load of clothes ran through a 40 minutes cycle in the dryer is what you get every time you use the outdoors to do the same job. Where clotheslines aren’t an option, use an indoor drying rack to save on energy.
Window management — Let the sunshine in! During the winter, open the shades, blinds, and curtains during the day and let the sun help you with your heating bills. Do the opposite in the summer to keep the cool inside.
Grow your own — Growing a garden full of fresh edibles is a lot more fun and rewarding than driving to the store every week. Start a garden now!
Turn on to composting — Composting is both easy, safe, and by far the best and most ethical way to dispose of the organic trash that weighs down your trash cans. Follow these simple rules: you’ll thank me later.
Let it grow — The grass that covers your lawn will be healthier and more comfortable if you let it grow. Set your lawnmower to its highest setting and let the grass breathe. The majority of grass species is healthier when kept 2 and a half in high or greater. The longer the vegetation, the more surface it exposes to sunlight and the thicker and deeper its roots will grow. Go easy on the chemicals and let nature do what it is designed to do: grow green.
A barrel of water — You will save a lot of potable water if you use a rainwater barrel to collect water. This may require a little more work than turning on a valve, but you will end up saving thousands of gallons of water every year.
Plant plants — Last but not least, let the plants clean your home. Unlike pets, they don’t require too much petting or expensive medical surgery, They won’t steal your toilet paper or munch through your kids’ homework. They smell nice, they are clean by nature and need only water to thrive. In return for your care, they will clean your indoor air. You can do not wrong by growing more plants indoor.