‘Green Up’ your home ahead of Earth Day with these spring cleaning tips


Cleaning can refresh your home, help plan ahead, and even trim your energy bills  

WINOOSKI, VT—April is "Earth Month," April 22 is Earth Day, and Vermonters celebrate the unique tradition of Green-Up Day on Saturday, May 4. With spring cleaning on everyone’s agenda, Efficiency Vermont has some tips that can help you tidy up and plan ahead for warm weather. Taking steps now could even help reduce your energy bills and save money. 

“Small changes can have a big impact on your home and on the environment,” said Amanda Kolifrath, energy advisor with Efficiency Vermont. “Whether you own or rent your home, or whether you’re trying to 'green up' your community or your kitchen, there are easy steps you can take during spring cleaning—with the added benefit of saving energy and usually a little money, too.” 

To green up your home and keep a little more green in your pocket, Efficiency Vermont suggests: 

  1. Spring forward by investing in clean technology. Need to replace a major appliance? Check for energy-saving options at Efficiency Vermont’s marketplace. Consider an air purifier to fight the pollen that’s just around the corner, a dehumidifier to dry out from spring showers, or a smart thermostat to keep your home at the perfect temperature no matter the season.

  2. Work efficiency into your spring cleaning routine. Regularly cleaning common appliances and systems in your home can optimize their performance. That means they use less energy and save you money. Clean out dust from bathroom fan covers and from under your fridge. Sweep or vacuum near any vents, ducts, or registers. Clear out dust and grease from kitchen stove hoods and exhaust fans. Brush away lint and other debris from your clothes dryer’s exhaust hose and filter, and any exterior vents for your dryer, heating system, or water heater. Keeping these systems clean with regular cleaning will maximize their efficiency.

  3. Plan ahead for big-picture savings. Ready to weatherize after an all-too-chilly winter? Or maybe you’ve heard how heat pumps are all the rage—not just for heating, but also a summertime superstar because they can cool your home, too? No matter what your home needs, spring is the perfect time to think ahead. Start with a Virtual Home Energy Visit to get expert advice on improvements big and small for your living space. If your heating system is getting close to retirement, learn about how heat pumps could meet your home’s heating needs—and bring the added benefits of air conditioning to your home at the same time.

  4. Schedule annual maintenance for your heating / AC system. You should have a professional clean and service both indoor and outdoor components of your home’s heating, ventilation, or air conditioning (HVAC) system once a year. This can ensure your furnace, boiler, wood or pellet stove, or heat pump is working and ready for next winter (or the next chilly day). And because heat pumps also provide air conditioning, spring cleaning is key to getting them ready to keep you cool all summer.

  5. Join a “Green Up Day” event near you. Grab a green garbage bag and volunteer at a Green Up Day event in your community. Spend some time—solo or with a group—picking up litter or otherwise cleaning your town. You can also download the Green Up app to find groups and areas that need cleaning up. You can even join a Guinness World Record attempt for the longest litter pick-up team ever! Green Up activities not only help Vermont’s natural landscape and waterways, but also raise awareness about the benefits of a litter-free environment year-round. 

  6. Spruce up the filters in the machines that keep you warm all winter. Spring cleaning is a great time to check on your heat pump, wood stove, furnace, or boiler. Replace or clean any filters on your heat pump, ductwork, and related systems to ensure they work well and efficiently. You should clean or replace these filters every few months (or more frequently if you have pets, if the machine is near your kitchen, if live on a dirt road, or if you use it frequently). You should also clean out any ductwork in your home, too. And if you have portable air purifiers, clean and consider replacing those filters as well.

  7. Electrify your lawn care. Whether you’re replacing old gas-powered tools or investing in new equipment for upcoming projects, battery-powered or plug-in lawn care tools like electric lawnmowers, leaf blowers, or trimmers are the way to go. They’re quieter and cheaper to operate—electricity costs less than gas—and charging a battery or plugging in is usually easier than keeping a gas can at hand. Electric tools are also much cleaner and greener compared to their gas-powered counterparts. According to the EPA, using a gasoline-powered lawnmower for one hour emits as much pollution as driving a car 45 miles! Keep in mind some electric lawn care rebates available in Vermont.

  8. Manage your home’s moisture. Moisture and water in your basement can be a serious hazard to the health of your home—and to the people living inside. It’s best to take care of any dampness, condensation, or standing water sooner rather than later. Follow these steps to fix a wet, damp, or leaky basement. If you think you may already have mold, follow these CDC guidelines to clean it up. Addressing the underlying moisture problem will help save energy and money in the long run, and a dehumidifier can help remove any remaining moisture in your home. Make sure it’s ENERGY STAR-certified and take advantage of Efficiency Vermont’s rebate (with extra savings for renters).

  9. Swap your light bulbs for something greener. LED bulbs use a lot less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs or even compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. That can save you money over the bulb’s lifetime. And speaking of lifetime, LEDs last a lot longer, too: the Department of Energy estimates an LED bulb can last for up to 50,000 hours, compared to 10,000 hours for CFLs and just 2,000 hours for incandescent bulbs.

  10. Have any lingering clean-up questions? Get in touch! Contact Efficiency Vermont’s Customer Support team with any questions about your energy use, and to get help taking control of your energy bills. Call (888) 921-5990, or send an email to [email protected].

About Efficiency Vermont

As the nation’s first Energy Efficiency Utility, Efficiency Vermont has helped Vermont avoid over 13.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and has received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence award for the last eight consecutive years. Efficiency Vermont works with partners to help our state transition to more affordable, low carbon energy use through education, incentives, and support for our clean energy workforce. Learn more at www.efficiencyvermont.com.

Efficiency Vermont Press Contact
Matthew Smith
Phone: (802) 540-7662
[email protected]