Banish energy waste with spring cleaning tips

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With Spring knocking on the door, we’re ready to open the windows and jump into a deep clean. The change of season is a great reminder to visit household appliances for regular upkeep and maintenance. Appliances make up 20% of an average home’s energy use. Just by following a few basic purchasing and maintenance ideas, you can save energy each month.

1.      Banish Buildup. Believe it or not, cleaning your cooking appliances regularly will save energy. When burner pans — the metal pans under the burners that catch spills — become blackened from heavy use, they can absorb a lot of heat, reducing burner efficiency. Keep them clean and shiny and they’ll be more effective at reflecting heat up to the cookware. A microwave also works more efficiently when the inside surfaces are clean of food particles.

2.      Clean inside and outside. Your refrigerator is an important part of your home and it runs 24/7, so making sure it runs efficiently can help you save.

  • Ensure the refrigerator seals around the door are airtight. If not, clean or replace them.
  • Clean the outside of the refrigerator as well as the inside. Gently vacuum the outside coils and check the seals for air leaks to improve the efficiency of your refrigerator
  • Check the temperature settings on your refrigerator.  Ideally, a refrigerator’s temperature should be between 35 and 38 degrees for maximum operating efficiency.
  • Regularly defrost manual-defrost freezers and refrigerators; frost buildup decreases the energy efficiency of the unit. Don’t allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch.

3.      Dry Efficiently. The clothes dryer can be a heavily used resource in your home, especially for families, so proper care is important.

  • Clean the lint filter – Cleaning the filter after every load will improve air circulation and increase the efficiency of the dryer. It also prevents fire hazards.
  • Scrub the lint filter regularly if you use dryer sheets – Dryer sheets can leave a film on the filter that reduces air flow and, over time, can affect the performance of the motor. Use a toothbrush to scrub it clean once a month.
  • Periodically, use the long nozzle tip on your vacuum cleaner to remove the lint that collects below the lint screen in the lint screen slot of your clothes dryer.
  • Inspect your dryer vent on the outside of your home to ensure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire.

DTE has ways to save in all areas of your house, year-round. For more tips on how to be energy efficient in your home, visit