Energy-Efficient Spring Cleaning for Renters

Spring is on its way! You can tell because the longer daylight hours are bringing attention to all the dust that’s collected on every surface. It’s a fresh start for all the blossoms outside, which is why people often use it as an opportunity to give their home a deep clean and get rid of some household clutter. 

Since you’re already cleaning out all your home’s nooks and crannies, it’s the perfect time to do an inspection to make sure your home is as energy-efficient as possible. Unfortunately, renters are rarely in control of some of the more vital components of the building, even though they often pay for their own utilities. That’s why we’ve made sure this list is ideal for tenants, as they do not require any household modifications that would void your security deposit.

Daylight curtains

Change to daylighting curtains

While the weather is mild, take advantage of the longer days to help you get your work done. Choose light-coloured and sheer curtains to allow some much-needed light inside the room. The light colour also brighten up the room giving it a cheery feeling and making the room seem larger and less claustrophobic. Perfect for the new season. For other ways to maximize your daylight use, check out this article for What Daylighting Can Do For You.

Clean floor vents

Your poor vents often go neglected for years, but you should start thinking of them as your home’s respiratory system. If they’re not clear and free of debris, your home won’t be able to ‘breath’. Cleaning the vents ensures that the air being circulated by your HVAC system is free of allergens, and won’t be prevented from reaching the rooms that need their temperature adjusted.


De-lime your faucets

The average shower consumes 2.1 gallons of water per minute, according to the nonprofit HomeWaterWorks. Every minute you stay in the shower is more energy spent heating the water, further increasing the total amount you spend. Therefore, the calcium build-up on the faucets that clog the pores of your shower and limit the water pressure is robbing you by raising your utilities. Fortunately, it can be easily scrubbed away after tying a small baggie with vinegar and baking soda to the faucet for 30 minutes.

Spring-clean your fridge

Fridges are more famous for what’s in them than what’s behind them, but those condenser coils play an important role in the efficiency of your fridge. Dust is actually a fairly decent insulator, making it more difficult for your fridge to dispel heat. I don’t know if you know this, but dispelling heat is how your fridge keeps itself cold. 

While you’re at the fridge, feel free to say goodbye to those mouldy condiments you swore you were going to use more than once. Decluttering your fridge creates empty space, allowing the cold air inside to circulate and more effectively keep what’s left inside cool. Also, be sure to check the vents at the back of the fridge or freezer for any ice build-up greater than a quarter-inch thick. These clog the vents that distribute the cold air and can be gotten rid of in a few steps:

  1. Empty the fridge or freezer and put the contents in a cool, dry spot. Don’t worry, it won’t be long. Put items that thaw quickly — like ice cream — inside an igloo.
  2. Unplug the fridge. You don’t want to waste energy defrosting your fridge.
  3. Wait for the ice to thaw, or help it along with a hairdryer on the low-heat setting or closing bowls of warm water inside.
  4. Wipe/mop away any thawed water.
  5. Replace the food and plug it back in.

If you see any ice damming, especially inside the freezer, it’s a sign that warm air was able to enter the freezer. If you hadn’t accidentally left the door open for an extended period of time, or if the icicles reoccur/grow, it’s a sign that your door may not be sealed. 

Check for any gaps between the door and the gasket (the rubber seal around the door). Manufacturers or hardware stores typically sell replaceable gaskets that aren’t very expensive (and significantly cheaper than a brand-new fridge) and can be replaced in a matter of minutes.

And there you have it! A few ways renters can make their accommodations more energy efficient without compromising their security deposits. Take advantage of the new season to give your apartment a fresh start.

About the author

Rhea is a content writer for, a leading energy rate comparison website that provides unbiased, third-party reviews of electricity and natural gas retailers in Canada. She also writes weekly blog posts on energy-saving tips. 

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