Green Tips for Fall Cleaning

Green Tips | September 7, 2017

Fall cleaning is here! It’s time to knock out some chores to get ready for the coming winter to prevent damage accumulating and keep your home working efficiently. Make sure to respect your health and the environment while getting ready for the changing season with these tips:

  1. Use safe cleaning products. Toxic cleaning products don’t just contaminate water and soil; they also damage your health. Triclosan, ammonia, and chlorine are common ingredients in cleaning products that can damage your skin and disrupt your endocrine system. Check out these products for a few safe options that run $3-$10.
  2. Be Smart about Fall Yardwork. Fall leaves are a great organic resource. Your pile of leaves is an ideal compost source for you or your neighbors. If you’re not a gardener, leave your and leaf pile unbagged at curbside, as most municipalities have pickup days for yard waste and post the information online. One of the best things you can do for your lawn, and the environment, is actually leave your leaves where they are. Consider using your own power instead of machines as a way to save energy and get a good workout. If you do want to use power tools, electric choices are always cleaner than gas-powered ones.
  3. Buy Reliable Air Filters for Your Home’s Furnace. The change of seasons means replacing furnace filters to most homeowners. The finer the filter’s size, the fewer particles will be circulated throughout your home’s HVAC system. Air filters have a MERV score from 1-20; a MERV of around 10 will protect your home from most pollutants. Having a few house plants makes your home’s air circulation even better.
  4. Clean your refrigerator coils and dryer. You can vacuum the refrigerator’s coils to keep the compressor running efficiently. Clean the ducts and the space behind your dryer; every once in a while, give the dryer filter a good wash too.
  5. Don’t forget to inspect the outside of your home too. Electrical outlets and light fixtures are commonly overlooked spots where warm air can leak out of your home. Make sure they’re covered or plugged if you aren’t using them. Chimneys should be cleaned once a year to prevent ash buildup and keep your fireplace efficient. Make sure your gutters aren’t too clogged with fall debris either.
  6. Cold air lowers your tire pressure, which lowers your fuel efficiency. Check your tire pressure with the onset of cold air. Keeping tires inflated helps them get the most mileage out of the fuel pushing your car.
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