No matter where you might be on the path to personal energy production with the solar installation, there are a number of energy saving tips California residents can use to further lower electricity bills.
And while these tips will absolutely help achieve that goal in saving more money every month, some of them will even let you pocket additional cash from the state or your local utility company.
That’s right – you’ll have more money available to you via both conserving energy and receiving rebates for those efforts.
Still, since those are technically different goals, we will discuss lowering your bills and getting paid for less energy consumption separately.
Additionally, while turning off lights and appliances while not in use is obviously a good way to lower your bill, the tips below are focused on heating and cooling as those are usually the largest electricity drains Californians face.
With great weather all year, many people in California have developed the habit of simply setting their home temperature control to somewhere in the 70s and letting the heating and cooling turn on whenever they just feel uncomfortably warm or cold.
The problem here is that heating and cooling your home is a substantial energy drain. In fact, this is usually the single biggest part of any Californian’s energy bill.
Living in California means having to deal with the heat a lot more often than most of the rest of the country. That being said, let’s first look at a few ways you can bring the temperature down inside your home without resorting to air conditioning.
Use Your Fans. Whether you have ceiling fans, box fans, tall oscillating fans, or any other kind, switch them on when your home starts to feel warm. A ceiling fan alone can lower the temp in any given room by up to four degrees. This can also help somewhat when trying to cool down adjacent rooms, just make sure to keep the doors open between them.
Open Your Windows. On especially bright days, a lot of the heat inside comes from the sun’s rays beating down on the top of your home. However, this warmth can be counteracted upon by simply opening your windows, especially if there is a breeze outside.
One thing to note – make sure to have at least two windows open in your home, preferably on opposite ends of the house to allow the air a pathway through.
The cooler breezy air will carry the heat outside and help leave your home feeling much fresher.
Seal Leaks. Leaks around your windows and from your air ducts can increase your cooling costs by up to and over thirty percent.
That being said, sealing these leaks can have a great impact on your wallet.
While taking care of the windows on your own can be a relatively easy task, we do recommend California energy efficiency contractors when it comes to installing energy efficient window treatments and the sealing of your air ducts.
If you have to run your air conditioning… For those who live in an area where the heat simply gets too hot to handle any other way, make sure you’re keeping up with maintenance on your air conditioner.
The easiest way most of us can do this is by changing your air filter. What you might not know, however, is that you need to be changing your air filter every three months or so.
If you have pets, a large family or someone in your home has strong allergies, that three months shortens to between 20 and 60 days.
Once a year simply isn’t enough. Furthermore, while this will help lower your energy bill, changing your air filter regularly will also help keep illness away, especially conditions like upper respiratory infection and other lung-based illnesses and irritations.
Use your fireplace. This might be an obvious energy saving tip for Californians, but the few minutes of extra work to set up and light a fire can turn people off from doing so.
However, the cost of lighting a fire will more than make up for how expensive it can be to instead run your heater. For more information and tips about maintaining your fireplace, please see the “Reduce Heat Loss from the Fireplace” section on this energy.gov article.
Control your thermostat. While it might be nice to have a warm and cozy home to return to, turning your thermostat down while you’re away or sleeping will lower your energy consumption by up to 10 percent.
If you’re the forgetful type, a programmable thermostat can go a long way in helping you control the temperature more efficiently, just remember to set the times and temps once it’s installed.
Seal those leaks! The leaks in your windows and air ducts mentioned above are even worse when it comes to warmth leaving your home.
No matter where you live or what the weather is like outside at any given time, sealing the leaks in your home is just a good idea. Period.
If you have to run your heater… Sometimes it just gets way too cold outside for a fireplace or heat management to make much a difference and it’s time to set the heater on just to feel like a blizzard hasn’t crept its way into your house.
If you find yourself regularly relying on your heater, take steps to make sure it’s in good working order by having a California energy efficiency contractor service it if you experience any issues whatsoever.
And, like with your air conditioning, make sure to replace your filters regularly as a clean filter will allow more of the heated air into the house, as opposed to being trapped in the duct or leaking into the attic, and will help keep your family members healthy.
Turn off lights and appliances. A program called OhmConnect will pay you for being smarter about your energy consumption.
After signing up for a free account, you can sync it with your energy company (SDG&E, PG&E, or Southern California Edison), and they’ll let you know when it’s best to use energy in your area to ensure the cleanest forms of power are being used.
Cutting back consumption during those times will earn you cash and entrance into prize pools.
Buy energy-efficient appliances and smart thermostats. Depending on what you need to buy for your home, Energy Upgrade California offers rebates of between $25 and $200.
To learn more about this program, click here.
Install solar panels. California energy efficiency funding offers residents access to a handful of rebates and tax credits to those who use solar power in their homes.
Likewise, you will be able to participate in your power company’s net metering program, which will credit your account for any excess electricity you produce.
Even further, you can reduce the amount you pay on your federal taxes by thousands of dollars by installing solar panels.
When combined with all the other tips discussed above, installing solar panels and maintaining your home will work together to save you much more cash than you likely ever imagined.
Contact Solar Sun Surfer today to learn more about our solar products and services, and we’ll be glad to help you tackle a variety of your other energy efficiency needs as well.