We are excited by the growing trends of sustainable home construction materials and techniques being adopted by today’s home builders. Those ideas are great if you are building a new home or planning a major renovation. However, there are smaller steps we can all take for better conservation.
Summer is officially here in Los Angeles. This means means warmer weather, drought conditions and more stress on the electrical grids. We can all do our part to conserve energy and water during the hot summer and fall months. In addition, you can save quite a bit on your utility bills with some moderate changes to your home and to your habits. Here are a few good tips for LA homeowners this summer:
You don’t have to fully renovate your house to improve energy efficiency. Consider upgrading to some smart appliances. They are more user-friendly and many are designed with energy savings in mind. Look for ENERGY STAR ratings, California state rebates and Federal tax credits to make your investment even more worthwhile. Smart home thermostats are really great at managing your air conditioning system for maximum energy efficiency. There are also smart home gardening and lawn maintenance systems that can help you cut down on water usage.
Get an A/C Tune Up
When the weather starts to heat up, it’s always a good reminder to get your air conditioning system tuned up. Get an HVAC company out to your house to inspect the thermostat, clean vents and ducts, replace air filters, and test your A/C equipment for optimal efficiency. The cost of the service often pays for itself when your air conditioner is more energy efficient over the course of the summer and fall months when you use it most.
There are always little things you can do around the house to conserve water and electricity. Water the yard a little less often. Turn off lights when not in rooms. Don’t leave the faucets running when brushing your teeth or washing dishes. Use the cold water setting when washing clothes. Close your shades and curtains to keep the sun from heating up the inside of the house too much. Unplug phone chargers and other electrical devices when not in use.
Water Early or Late
If you are watering your lawn or garden during the summer, do it early in the morning or at dusk. Water evaporates too quickly when the sun is out and temperatures are at their highest. Watering outside of peak sunlight hours gives plants more time to soak up the water, meaning you won’t have to use as much to keep your greenery healthy.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
These are good practices all year long. Try to use more reusable products like water canteens, cloth napkins, and grocery store tote bags. Try to minimize single-use containers and products made from plastic or styrofoam. When you do use recyclable materials like paper, glass, metals or plastics, don’t forget to recycle them properly.
Long-Term Conservation Investments
You may be considering more substantial investments and home improvements. We are big fans of sustainable construction techniques. However, most people in LA live in homes that were built long before today’s eco-forward concepts existed. If you are thinking about making some upgrades and renovations, look for opportunities to improve energy efficiency and reduce water/electricity/gas consumption:
- Native Desert Landscaping & Turf Reduction
- Smart Home Appliances
- Upgraded Insulation
- New Energy-Efficiency Windows and Doors
- New Roofing
- Solar Panels & Battery Storage
- Low-Flow Shower Heads, Faucets and Toilets
These are just a few ideas to think about as the summer weather heats up and we all want to cut back on our utility bills. Plus, all of these tips are good for the environment, so it can feel good to do your part for the community!