Six spring cleaning tips to help reduce summer energy bills

6 spring cleaning tips to reduce your summer energy bill

Already sweating at the thought of your summer power bills? You’re not alone! 

With the weather heating up, the fear of high air-conditioner running costs is no doubt on plenty of minds. In fact, Canstar Blue research found 8% of Australians dread receiving a large energy bill coming into summer. 

But is there a way to avoid the 12 week-long anguish over whether to switch on your cooling appliances? Catherine Anderson, Origin Energy’s general manager for customer experience, told Canstar Blue that a spring clean could help offset higher AC or fan costs in unexpected ways.

“We often think about it only in terms of making your home look and feel fresh, but behind the scenes, it can also help optimise the energy efficiency of your home,” she said of the seasonal spruce-up. “Small changes such as cleaning appliance filters or even dusting off the fan can re-energise the home and lead to untapped savings potential.”

So, what could you do today to prep your home for summer energy use? These are Origin’s top energy-reducing spring cleaning tips.

Six spring cleaning tips to help reduce energy use

1. Clean your air conditioner

Give your air conditioner a clean and service before summer heats up to help improve its efficiency. A thorough clean includes the filter, condenser coils and fan coils, both on the inside and outside units attached to your system.

Origin also suggested running the ‘dry out’ function – if your air con model has one – while using your air con. This setting helps to evaporate moisture that gathers on the heat exchanger, preventing odours and mould forming in the system.


Need more air-conditioner cleaning tips? Check out Canstar Blue’s step-by-step air con cleaning guide.


2. Clean and organise your fridge and freezer

A clean, tidy fridge not only looks better, it could help you spot potential efficiency issues with the appliance – the biggest being the temperature control. Origin recommended a fridge temperature setting of 3°C and a freezer temperature setting of -18°C and -20°C. Every degree colder on either appliance will increase its running costs without improving its food storage capabilities. 

Cleaning the vents within your fridge and leaving some free shelf space around the area can help ensure the temperature control is even throughout, while reducing the ice build-up on the interior walls of your freezer will allow it to run most efficiently. 

Origin also suggested keeping water bottles in your fridge whenever it looked a little bare – not only for hydration on hot days, but also to cut energy wastage because full fridges typically use less energy than empty ones. 


Learn more about ideal fridge and freezer temperature settings, organisation and food spoilage tips in Canstar Blue’s fridge and freezer maintenance guide now.


3. Clean your door and window seals

You’re no doubt aware of advice to block draughts to maximise the effectiveness of a room heater but the same goes for air conditioning. Before cranking up the AC, Origin advised cleaning the tracks your sliding doors, screen doors and windows run on, not only so you can see any small cracks in the tracks or seal that would allow cool air to escape, but also to prevent damage in the future.  

Give the track a quick vacuum, wipe over the area with a clean cloth to collect all remaining dust and dirt, and if you’ve got a particularly stubborn patch, mix up some bi-carb soda and vinegar and gently scrub the area with the mixture using a toothbrush.

Compare Origin’s Electricity Prices

Origin Energy Prices NSW

Here are the Origin Energy plans on our database for NSW. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3911kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Origin Energy Prices VIC

Here are the Origin Energy plans on our database for Victoria. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Origin Energy Prices QLD

Here are the Origin Energy plans on our database for SE QLD. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4613kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Origin Energy Prices SA

Here are the Origin Energy plans on our database for South Australia. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4011kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

4. Check your hot water system

Hot water systems are big energy guzzlers but they’re also a necessity – even when it’s hot enough for a cool shower – so your best bet is to ensure yours runs at maximum efficiency. No matter what the season, ensure your temperature setting isn’t unnecessarily high, which increases its running cost. What’s unnecessarily high? It depends on the type of hot water system so it’s best to consult a professional.

Origin said, though, that an extended trip over Christmas and the New Year offered the opportunity to switch off your hot water system and save on energy. Just remember to turn it back on when you get back home, Origin cautioned, and if you have a hot water tank, it’s vital to run it at 60°C for 35 minutes before you use the water to kill any bacteria in the system. 


Concerned about your hot water costs? Canstar Blue shares some tips on how to reduce the cost of your hot water system.


5. Clean your solar panels

If you have solar on your rooftop you might also consider getting your panels cleaned and serviced. Debris, whether it be dust, bird poo or built-up grime, can reduce the performance of solar panels. A pre-summer clean is an opportunity to look for any other issues with your panels, which you likely rarely see up close. Origin can help customers to organise a solar panel clean or maintenance package (or both) through its website. 


Want to clean your solar panels but not sure if you can do it yourself? Canstar Blue explains the dos and don’ts of solar panel cleaning in our expert guide.


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6. Ditch a dud energy plan

Spring cleaning your most energy-draining appliances will only get you so far if you’re on a dud energy plan. According to Canstar Blue data, households across New South Wales, Victoria, south-east Queensland and South Australia had the potential to save up to an average of to $397 on their electricity costs each year, by switching to the cheapest market offer available in their distribution area. 

If you can’t remember the last time you switched electricity plans, it might be time to compare prices to ensure you aren’t missing out on a better deal. We’ve listed the cheapest electricity plans currently on our database for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide below to kickstart your journey. Alternatively, for a wider selection of offers in your area, head to our free comparison tool and type in your postcode.

Compare cheap electricity plans now

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3911kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4613kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4011kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Image credit: Kzenon/Shutterstock.com

Kelseigh Wrigley
Energy Specialist
Kelseigh Wrigley was a content producer at Canstar Blue for three years until 2024, most recently as an Energy Specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the Queensland University of Technology.

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