Our home is the one place that we should be most proud of. Whether you live on your own, with friends or as a family unit, we all know how costly it can be to run a household. For those who are looking to make a difference and reduce their carbon footprint, there are lots of things that you can do which can help the environment and enable you to lead a greener way of life.
If you’ve noticed an increase in your energy bills or you’re wanting to make small but subtle changes to your property for the better, here are 10 great ways on how to make your San Diego home more energy-efficient.
Lower Your Thermostat
Once temperatures begin to drop in the winter months, it’s only natural that you will want to keep your home as warm and cozy as can be, however, rather than turning the thermostat up, adopting the habit of lowering the temperature (especially when you’re away from home) can reduce your monthly utility bills, as well as use less energy. Lowering your thermostat by 10-15 degrees during the day can potentially save you up to 15% on your bills each year.
Seal All Windows
None of us want to walk into a cold and chilly home, so going the extra mile and sealing the air leaks in around your window can make a huge difference. If you have noticed a draft coming in from your windows, you may want to consider adding weatherstripping that can be placed around the frames. You can also add a bead of silicone caulk over drywall cracks, as well as apply a sheet of shrink film on your windows. If you’re serious about lowering energy costs, sealing any cracks and gaps should be your first port of call.
Invest in Solar Panels
While solar panels aren’t the cheapest option, they are becoming increasingly popular as a way to heat hot water, as well as generate electricity for homes. There are tons of benefits that solar panels can bring to your home. Not only will they save you cash on your energy bills, but their main purpose is to promote lower fossil fuel usage. Solar panels tend to be installed on the roof of a property, so if you’re wanting to make serious changes, installing solar panels is a no brainer.
Purchase a Heating and Air Conditioning Unit
In addition to adding solar panels to your home, you can add an energy-efficient heating and air conditioning unit onto your solar panels, which will decrease your monthly energy bills. There are companies like SemperSolaris who are heating contractors in the San Diego area that you may want to contact who can fit heating and air conditioning units to your property. As San Diego is notoriously known for its glorious weather, purchasing the right heating and air conditioning unit can help warm and cool your home depending on the season.
Start a Compost Pile
If you love to cook, the last thing you want is to throw excess food into the garbage can. Instead of saying goodbye to any leftovers, why not start your own compost pile? You don’t need to have lots of space in your backyard to get started either. Compost is the result of organic waste that has been kept in a container or pile, which decomposes over time. If you have any leftover fruits and vegetables, not only can they be transformed into valuable fertilizer for your garden or lawn, but it will reduce the amount of garbage you produce on a daily basis.
Change Your Lightbulbs
Whether you live by yourself or as a family unit, keeping your home well lit is important. If you’re looking to become more energy-efficient, but you aren’t sure where to start, a great place to begin is by changing your lightbulbs. Rather than using 60-watt incandescent lightbulbs, opting for a greener option can be a fantastic way to save on your electricity bill. What’s more, energy-efficient lightbulbs are known to last much longer, meaning you won’t have to change them as frequently. Regardless of how big your property is, making a small change like this can have a massive impact in the long run.
Limit Water Usage
Whether you love a long shower or a soak in the bath, the amount of water you use can play a major part in your utility bills at the end of the month. Instead of opening your mail to find a nasty surprise, limiting how much water you use can help save you money and put your mind at ease. There are lots of simple actions that you can take, such as shortening how long you are in the shower or even switching off the tap while you brush your teeth. If you live with others, make sure that they follow suit too, as the less water you use, the more you will be doing for the environment.
Unplug Electrical Devices
In the modern world we live in, you will be hard-pressed to find a home that’s not equipped with mod cons and electrical gadgets. Whether it’s laptops, televisions, or smartphones, before you head to bed, make sure that you unplug any electrical devices that are not in use. Even if they’re in standby mode, they will still be using electric, so it’s important that you get yourself into the habit of checking before hitting the hay. Cell phone and battery chargers, in particular, are known as energy vampires, so if there are lots of you in the home, these energy vampires can account for 10% of your energy bill.
Perform an Energy Audit
If you aren’t sure how to make your home more energy-efficient, performing an energy audit may be the best route to go down. Hiring a professional to come in and survey your home can help pinpoint areas where you’re using tons of energy. A certified and trained auditor will provide you with lots of saving opportunities around the home, as well as areas that could do with improvement. Once you’ve worked out the root cause, you will be able to make immediate changes that will lower your energy consumption and the amount you pay on bills.
Insulate Your Attic
Adding insulation in your attic can not only help seal air leaks but have a positive impact on your property’s heating and cooling costs. The amount of insulation you will need to cover your attic will largely depend on the size of your property, as well as the climate in your region. If your attic is primarily used for storage or you have created an extra bedroom or office space, making sure it’s well insulated can not only provide comfort but save on your energy bills too.
We’re all aware of the seriousness of climate change. Whether you’re scrolling through social media or watching the television, the world we live in could change for the worse if we don’t take action now. While you may not think the changes you make do much, every little helps, so taking all the tips listed above into account can help make your San Diego property more energy efficient.