Heating is one of the biggest recurring costs in the average American household. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that during the winter of 2023-2024, Americans would spend an average of $1,069 on energy, much of which would go to heating.
But if you have a radiator, one TikToker found a way to spend less while still staying toasty warm until spring.
“With fuel costs on the rise, this quick and easy energy-saving tip will help reduce your heating bills,” he explains in his video.
“You want to get yourself a long stick, something like this,” he says, showing off two long poles. “Go around each radiator in your home and clean out the backs from any dust that has accumulated.”
@propertywurzel Quick And Easy Energy Saving Tip To Save Money And Reduce Your Heating Bills This Winter #energysavingtips #energysaving #energysavingcosts #Moneysavingtip #reducebills #costoflivingcrisis #savemoneyonbills ♬ original sound – PropertyWurzel
The tool you use for the job isn’t important — PropertyWurzel’s sticks appear to be broken pieces from a set of window blinds. Your stick just needs to be narrow enough to slide between the sections of your radiator, long enough to reach from top to bottom, and stiff enough to push through any debris.
“I find if you tie a rag on the end of the stick then this removes the most amount of dust,” he adds.
Besides wiping off dust, cleaning your radiator can also reveal objects that have fallen inside or behind the appliance, like socks or pieces of paper.
“Finally, run a vacuum along the top to get any loose bits that you missed,” says PropertyWurzel.
How it’s helping
Too much dust can act as insulation on your radiator, trapping the heat inside the unit instead of letting it out into the room. That means your radiator has to work harder and use more energy to produce the same warming power.
“Once you’ve gone around and done this on every radiator in your home you’ll be amazed at the difference in efficiency of your heating,” says PropertyWurzel. “Best of all, it’s free and easy!”
That makes it an ideal hack for residents who aren’t ready to invest in a more dramatic energy-saving upgrade like a heat pump. With a clean radiator, you’ll save money on fuel or electricity, and you’ll also generate less air pollution with your energy use.
This is helpful for the environment, too. While you might want your house to be warmer, it would be dangerous for the planet to warm up more than it already has. Carbon air pollution traps heat in the atmosphere and heats up the Earth — and we’re already experiencing the hottest period on record.
What everyone’s saying
Commenters could easily see how much dust this hack might remove. “I’m slightly scared to do this,” joked one user.
Others pointed out that there might be an even more effective option. “You can buy radiator cleaning brushes (like a large bottle brush),” another commenter said. “Will do a much better job.”
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