What makes a more energy-efficient home? Why are your energy bills so high? How can you reduce your carbon footprint right away? These are all questions Southern California homeowners ask themselves when seeking to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle.
But “going green” is only one of the benefits of making small changes to your home and your habits. They can also help you plug money leaks in your home’s operating budget by intentionally choosing to practice these simple energy efficiency tips.
A More Energy Efficient Kitchen
The kitchen is where most homes keep the majority of their energy-sapping appliances. From leaving small appliances unplugged to changing the settings, you can make a big difference with these appliance modifications.
One of the largest in any home is the refrigerator and freezer. By increasing the temperature for both the fridge and freezer, even by a few degrees, you will decrease the amount of energy the appliance has to output.
For optimal efficiency, set your fridge to run between 36° and 38°F. Your freezer should be set between 0° and 5°F. It will take approximately 24 hours for the changes to fully take effect.
Another way to preserve costs and energy is to purchase appliances that are ENERGY STAR-approved. These machines have been designed with efficiency and savings in mind.
By using pots and pans that fit the size of the burner, you save energy output and cook time. Covering your dinner with lids also contributes to a shorter cooking time, as do regularly cleaned stove pans.
Energy Efficiency in the Bathroom
You can make the greatest impact on water savings in the bathroom. Simply replacing traditional showerheads with low-flow models can make a big difference in water usage.
Low-flow faucets will also help reduce water loss, as well as shut off the water while you brush your teeth or wash your face. These are easy ways to save water without sacrificing too much from your daily routine.
Be honest. How often do you leave the tap running for far too long before you hop in the shower? Or leave the water on while you’re brushing your teeth? We’ve all done it, but this is a crucial loss that can be completely eliminated just by being more conscious of how long you leave the water tap running.
You should also plan to schedule regular drain clearing. This will keep your system in good health and eliminate water backup issues that are accompanied by expensive invoices from a plumber.
The next time your need to replace your bathroom lighting, or any lighting in the house, switch out any incandescent bulbs with either compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or LED lights. This will have a direct effect on your electric bills as well as lessen your energy impact.
Energy Efficiency in the Home
In the Southern California area, we’re blessed with enviable, balmy weather almost year-round. Unfortunately, this can be costly when it comes to electric bills.
Check that your thermostat isn’t set to “artic” all the time, rather just cool enough. This will keep you from getting massive and costly hikes in your cooling bill.
When you experience a draft in your home, this usually comes from old insulation or poor window seals. If your home is drafty, it may be time to add more or better insulation to your attic or exterior walls. You should also check the state of any windows. It may be time to reseal around them or have them completely replaced.
Would you like to cut down on the odor from your trash can? Or reduce the impact on your local landfill? Start your own compost pile! This will not only solve both of those concerns but also increases the quality of your soil. Here are a few basic steps to get started:
- You don’t need a compost container, just pick a corner of your yard
- Always add a balance of food waste and yard waste, like leaves
- If it becomes dry, moisturize regularly
- Turn the pile frequently to infuse oxygen