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​​If you have furry family members who leave a trail of dirt and hair through your home, the mess could be impacting more than just your cleaning regime.

A buildup of pet hair and debris can reduce your home's energy efficiency. Keep these four places around your home in mind next time you're tidying up.

1. Dust or vacuum vent covers

Whether your home has wall or floor vents, pet hair can cling to the vent covers and prevent air from circulating, making your heating or cooling unit work harder to keep your home the right temperature. During your regular cleaning routine, use the nozzle of your vacuum to suck up pesky pet hair from your vent covers.

2. Clean the sliding door track

If you have an exterior sliding door, a buildup of dirt and pet hair on the track could be wearing down the door’s seal, preventing the door from closing properly or creating gaps where heat and cold air can escape. Use a damp cloth to wipe the track clean and use your vacuum’s nozzle to remove any hard-to-reach debris.

3. Unclog fridge condenser coils

Letting pet hair build up behind your fridge can clog the condenser coils, making it less energy efficient. Condenser coils are located at the back of your fridge and when clogged, aren't able to efficiently release heat. As a result, your fridge's compressor has to work harder and burn through more energy.

After unplugging your fridge, access the grille located at the back near the bottom. Carefully remove it and use your vacuum's nozzle to clean away any debris.

4. Replace the furnace filter

Like your fridge's condenser coils, a clogged furnace filter will cause your furnace to work harder to circulate the air and consume more energy. By replacing the filter every 3-6 months, you'll improve the air quality in your home and reduce your energy consumption.

Looking for more ways to increase energy efficiency at home? Visit our Green Tips, Tricks and Gadgets blog

Sources: DIY Network, Family Handyman, HVAC

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