If you’re like the average U.S. family, you could be spending about $1,900 each year on utility bills alone. Of that amount, heating and cooling are said to eat up about 54%. For many families, that number may seem a little high. It is possible to lower one’s heating and cooling bills in a number of ways. The fastest and easiest? Keeping your home cleaner.
Even homes that are cleaned regularly and frequently may miss key spots that can drive up utility bills when left uncleaned. Attics, dryer vents, and air ducts are some areas that should not be forgotten. Here’s why.
Can a Dirty Home Be More Expensive to Cool and Heat?
A home with clutter and dirt is not just more expensive to heat and cool, in fact it could prove to be a hazard. In 34% of home fires caused by a drying machine, the main cause was a dirty, clogged dryer vent. So failure to pay attention to these key areas is not only potentially driving up the monthly utility bill for many families, but could also potentially lead to a home disaster.
The Unexpected Danger In Your Home: The Drying Machine.
The average home dryer isn’t known for being dirty, or needing to be cleaned. But this standard home appliance absolutely does need to be cleaned regularly. The dryer vents can easily become dusty, clogged with lint, and then create a fire with as little as a spark because dust and lint are highly flammable. The dryer vent screen that you clean out catches only about 25% of the total lint. The remaining 75% coats the area behind the dryer: the wall, the cords, and the floor. Cleaning your ducts is not difficult, but it must be done regularly to minimize the risk of fire.
Attic Insulation: Stop Making Your Heater Work So Hard.
Poor insulation in the attic is a factor in higher utility bills. Insufficient attic insulation result in as much as 25% of a home’s heat loss. Think of the attic insulation as keeping the hot air inside when it’s cold, and the hot air outside during the summer months. Good attic insulation can save some homes nearly 40% of their heating and cooling costs.
Keep the Air Clean: Clean Your Air Ducts Often.
To have top heating and cooling efficiency, it is recommended that a home’s air ducts are deep cleaned every three to five years. But clean air ducts also have an enormous effect on our health as well. Air contaminants such as pet dander, allergens, and dust build up over time, and during peak seasons might be recirculated as many as seven times throughout the day and night. Duct cleaning should be a regular part of all home’s maintenance schedule.
To keep a safe, clean, efficient home, remember to clean the air ducts regularly; clean ducts behind the dryer, and check your attic insulation. These do not need to be taken care of everyday, but these steps do need to be a regular part of every home’s cleaning regime.