Spring Cleaning for Energy Savings

Spring cleaning energy efficiency pointers

Spring cleaning, the age-old tradition of deep cleaning and organizing, is the perfect time to check off your energy-saving to-dos to get your home ready for summer.

The heat will be here before you know it! Make sure to check off these easy maintenance steps to make your home more comfortable, lower your energy bills, and extend the life of your cooling equipment and home.

Printable Checklist


Ready, Set, Cool!

Just getting over winter? Believe it or not, the heat is coming! Get your heat pump or AC in tip-top shape before you need it.

Old and dirty air filter next to clean filter in front of home furnace

1. Replace Your Air Filters

Keep your heat pump or AC cooling smoothly. Nothing hampers performance (and wastes energy) than running your system with a dirty filter clogged with dog hair and funk!

Make sure to stock up on extra filters:

  • MERV-8 is a good primary filter and can remove things like pollen, dust mites, and mold.
  • MERV-13 is ideal to have on hand during a wildfire smoke event. Lower rated filters DO NOT filter out harmful smoke particulates that are small enough to enter your blood stream. Don't wait until a smoke event to buy your MERV-13's -- they often sell out.

Bonus: This spring swap out filters for your other home systems like refrigerator and in-sink water dispensers, and whole-house water systems, vacuum cleaners, and air filters. Check if your system filters need to be replaced outright or simply washed and reused.

HVAC maintenance person inspecting air handling unit

2. HVAC Tune Up

You wouldn’t run your car without regular maintenance, so don’t ignore the giver of home comfort: your heat pump or AC. A tune up is an inexpensive way to improve your equipment’s performance and extend its life (and lower your cooling bills by up to 15%!).

In a tune up, an HVAC tech will examine your system from top to bottom and take care of regular maintenance like cleaning the condenser coils, replacing any damaged parts, swapping the air filters, flushing the drain and more.

List of local HVAC contractors

Person vacuuming out air ducts

3. Clean Your Ducts and Vents

Ever wonder what’s slipped inside your air vents? Chances are they’re collecting everything from dust and hair to random debris and Legos.

Give your lungs and cooling system a break by having your ducts cleaned out every 3 to 5 years – or more frequently if you have pets, smoke inside, or have any allergies. Spring is also the perfect time to give your vents and grates a good cleaning!

Person on ladder cleaning ceiling fan and changing rotation direction

4. Change the Direction of Your Ceiling Fans

Switch your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise so that they push cool air down. As it gets warmer outside, the airflow on your skin from a fan will help you feel about 4 degrees cooler without turning on the AC.

(While you're up there, clean the tops of your fan blades to improve indoor air quality.)

More easy tips to stay cool this summer

Use Sunlight to Your Advantage

Pools of sunlight in winter may feel sublime. But come the hot summer months, you’re going to want some shade! Here’s how to prep for summer sun.

Person washing windows outside home

5. Wash Your Windows and Screens

Clean screens and windows do double duty: they allow better natural light and more fresh spring breeze into your home, refreshing your inside air.

Cleaning will not only save you energy and money by making your home more comfortable this spring, but it’ll also improve overall health and productivity.

Person installing curtains inside a home with an open window

6. Install the Right Window Coverings

Sunlight warms your home, which is perfect for winter but uncomfortable in summer. Make sure you have the right window coverings installed for when the summer sun blasts in!

With the right window treatments, you’ll be more comfortable without straining your AC – or wallet.

The best performing window coverings

Adult and child planting a leafy tree in the yard

7. Plant a Deciduous Tree to the South

Getting your hands dirty in the garden this spring? Consider planting a leafy tree to the south side of your home. As it grows, a deciduous tree will provide ample shade from the harsh summer sun, keeping your home naturally cooler. In winter, the bare branches allow sun in to warm your home.

Looking to save water in your yard? Check out our Riverfront Park Xeriscape Garden in Wenatchee for inspiration.


Spring is the perfect time to make sure your home is sealed from the outside elements. Cracks, leaks, and missing insulation make your home uncomfortable year-round. But they’re typically cheap and easy things to fix!

Child holding caulking gun

8. Caulk Air Leaks

Any breaks in the shell of your home let air in or out (or worse: pests to make a home!) meaning you’re heating and cooling the outside.

Inspect the outside and inside of your exterior walls and seal any openings with caulk. Look for openings around windows, doors, electric outlets, corners, floors, and walls. You’ll reduce air leaks, keeping your home sealed and ready to keep out the summer heat!

Hand opening sliding door to yard

9. Clean Your Sliding Door Tracks

If you have a sliding door, it’s time to clean out the track from dirt and grit that can ruin your door’s seal over time.

A new patio door can be a big investment (even with Chelan PUD rebates), so keep the one you have working well for years.

Person blowing in cellulose insulation into home attic

10. Insulate!

After you air seal, make sure to insulate to keep the heat from soaking in. You’ll feel more comfortable for decades and lower your cooling (and heating!) bills.

Your attic should have a minimum of R38 insulation levels. That's a depth of 12" for batts, 14" for granules or rock wool, 11" for paper fibers (cellulose), or more than 15" for loose fiberglass insulation.

If you need an insulation boost, take advantage of Chelan PUD insulation rebates!

Attic ventilation near peak of gable home roof

11. Check Your Attic Ventilation

If your attic lacks proper ventilation or your vents are clogged, hot air will crowd in your attic and radiate into your home below.

An unventilated attic can reach 150°F! That’s hot enough to cook an egg, ruin your roof over time, and make it difficult to cool your home. It can also degrade some types of insulation, cause “sapping” of your trusses (inviting sap-hungry pests) and shorten the life of your HVAC system.

If you’re not sure if you have adequate ventilation, call a roofer (or three, as we recommend with all contractors) to check what type of ventilation you have and if it’s working well. And make sure to clean your soffit vents.

Inside: Electronics, Appliances and Lighting

It wouldn't be spring cleaning without getting into all the nooks and crannies! These are our top picks for inside improvements that can reduce your energy usage, and bills.

Person checking refrigerator seals

12. Check Your Fridge Seals

Your fridge and freezer use a fair amount of energy to keep your edibles cool, especially in summer as the temperatures rise.

Make sure the seals are all clean and tight, replacing any that are damaged or cracked. Your food will last longer by staying at the right temperature, and your fridge won’t have to work as hard, extending its lifespan.

Dusting flatscreen TV with microcloth

13. Grab Your Duster

Dust off your computer, office equipment, electronics, light bulbs, and even refrigerator coils to make sure their electronics and motors are running well.

Built up dust can block the heat dissipating features of all of these electronics, including LED bulbs. If your LEDs aren’t lasting as long as they should, it’s likely because they’re overheating.

Close up of hand installing LED lightbulb

14. Switch to Energy-Efficient Lighting

Incandescent and halogen lights get hot, hot, hot! That might be handy in winter, but heating up your home at the same time as using your heat pump or AC to cool doesn’t make sense.

Plus, LEDs use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescents.


We’re Here for You

Curious about how to get ready for spring? Finding a contractor? Options for attic ventilation? Our energy solutions team is here for you!

Give us a call at 509-661-8008, email conservation@chelanpud.org, or check out our rebate programs.