Pandemic calls for extra spring cleaning

After a long winter of quarantining, homeschooling and teleworking while everyone was at home full time, it’s time for the mother of all spring cleanings.

More people at home more of the time equals more dirt, grime, dust, fingerprints and stains.

While you’re scrubbing the pandemic out of your house, keep energy efficiency in mind. Here are six items to clean that could help your appliances, lighting and air conditioning system operate more efficiently—and save you money on energy bills.

1. Flip the switch. Ceiling fans blades should rotate counterclockwise during warm weather to push cool air down and make rooms feel more comfortable. And they should be dust-free; climb a ladder and clean the blades and top and bottom so they don’t knock dirt into the air as they spin.

2. Clean air conditioner vents. They’re a catch-all for lint, pet hair, dust and dirt, which can block the air that’s trying to flow in and out of them.

3. Caulk around windows, doors, and electrical and cable outlets on the inside of outside walls. Cool air can escape through those tiny openings in the summer and find its way into the house during winter.

4. Wash your windows. Even a thin film of dust and dirt on the inside or outside of glass panes can block sunlight from warming a room in the spring.

5. Call a service pro. Your cooling system needs attention from an HVAC tech once every spring to prevent a breakdown once the weather gets hot.

6. Dust electronics. Computers, printers, light bulbs, appliances—anything that you plug in—sit still enough to collect a lot of dust. Dust can prevent them from operating efficiently.