3 Maintenance Essentials for a Cleaner and Greener Home

Filed in Uncategorized by on September 21, 2018 0 Comments
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persons hand screwing lightbulb into a black lamp shadeYou know me by now, I love helping people save money while reducing their carbon footprint.

Mr Green is a self confessed Robinson Crusoe – I can’t remember the last time we hired someone to do some maintenance in the house, as he takes care of everything. And he tries really hard not to waste anything.

While that sounds fabulous (and it is, don’t get me wrong!) it can have its drawbacks, namely, I’m a closet minimalist and he’s a hoarder. He argues that he needs all this ‘stuff’ because it might come in useful.

Annoyingly it does, much of the time!

The other bonus about maintaining your home properly, is you can add value to the property, which is advantageous when you come to sell it later on. (Not to mention making it less stressful when the move is imminent).

One thing’s for sure, home maintenance can be performed with an eye for protecting the environment and making sure you are pursuing a zero waste lifestyle. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind.

Start with an inspection

You know what they say – a stitch in time, saves nine. And it’s the same with your home.

Sadly many of us wait until there’s a problem before we deal with it. But making regular checks (autumn is our preferred time, but spring is ideal too) can stop a problem in its tracks and help you avoid waste.

Let me give you an example: In a previous house I rented, I mentioned to my landlord that there was a damp patch on a bedroom ceiling. He ignored it. I later told him that occasionally, when the wind was blowing in a certain direction, the odd drop of water would come through. He ignored it. later I reported that EVERY time it rained, there were a few drips of water. He ignored it. Eventually I had to call him because I got home from work to find my bedroom ceiling on the floor! The roof was ruined and so were the timber beams.

If he’d have taken action when the wet mark appeared, all that cost, waste and stress could have been avoided.

So keep tabs on the structural integrity of your home to identify any major and even minor issues that are going to result in waste if not properly maintained.

I’m lucky in that Mr G is a former health and safety officer, so we are confident to do our own inspection, but if you’re not that confident, or don’t have time, you can hire an independent contractor. You can easily find the right contractor almost anywhere in your current location with a simple online search. For instance, you can get a building and pest Brisbane company that uses the latest tech in home inspection and helps you invest in the right eco-friendly technology or fixtures.

Fix energy issues

When it comes to issues that affect energy consumption, opt to fix these issues right away as you’ll save money immediately AND reduce that all-important carbon footprint! Leaks through doors, windows and walls , as well as poor insulation, can affect temperature control in your home, which means, you  spend more on heating and cooling. Not only that, you will be needlessly wasting a great amount of energy.

We run woodburners to keep our home warm, so we see, first hand, just how much energy it takes to heat a tank of water or warm up the radiators. And one of the biggest differences to our home has been the simple hack of lining our curtains with space blankets – it makes a huge difference to the heat we we losing through the windows.

Clean out the house

Cleaning out the house and giving it a good scrub down is a great practice in home maintenance. Appliances deteriorate faster due to the presence of dust and other debris, so giving these fixtures a good wiping can slow down wear-and-tear. As a result, your appliances will last longer and be more efficient. This is particularly true of the condenser coils at the back of your refrigerator. See here for how to do it.

Here’s another true story to illustrate: We once picked up an old vacuum cleaner that someone had thrown out for the rubbish collection. They let us have it for free. When we got it home, we emptied the bag, cleared out the pipes, cleaned the filters and it was a good as new!

What about you – how does household maintenance tie into a zero waste lifestyle for you?

 

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

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