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How Can You Make Your Southern California Home More Energy Efficient & Eco-Friendly?
Are you doing enough for the environment? You might be eating less meat or driving an electric car, but the biggest changes in your carbon footprint start at home. Let’s take a look at the ways you can make your Southern California home more energy-efficient and eco-friendly.
Install solar panels on your home
There’s really no bigger step you can take to make your home more efficient than installing solar panels. Most families we work with at Inter Faith Electric & Solar see their electric bills slashed.
In many cases, electric bills will drop to nothing at all. That’s right, can you imagine paying $0 a month for electricity?
With solar panels, it’s absolutely possible!
How solar panels work:
Our solar panel experts inspect your home and design a solar panel system to meet your needs
Experienced installers work quickly to install your panels
Once your solar panel system is connected to the power grid, it can start generating power to run your home
Any surplus electricity can be “sold back” to the utility company, reducing your electric bill even further
Reduce water usage
While we have a surplus of sun here in Southern California, our water supplies are much more limited. That’s why it’s so important for area homeowners to do whatever is possible to reduce their home’s water use.
When looking for ways to be more efficient about your use of water, start outside your home and work your way inside.
Yards & lawns
A green lawn is an environmentally irresponsible choice.
Natural native plants, stonework, and other water-conscious yard designs can drastically reduce the amount of water that is used in your yard. Not only is this an eco-conscious and efficient choice, but it’s also an economical one. Water costs (much like electricity costs) are increasing rapidly and reducing your use of water can save your family hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.
Washing machines, showers, toilets, and other appliances can gobble up water — especially if they’re older, less efficient models. Modern high-tech appliances often use a small fraction of the water used by older generations of appliances.
Who doesn’t love sunshine?!
Southern California is one of the sunniest places in the entire country. It’s great for getting a tan, but it’s not so great for keeping your home cool. Direct sunlight during the day can make the interior of your home extremely hot. Then your air conditioner has to work overtime to keep things cool.
Fortunately, light-reducing and blackout window coverings can make all the difference in the world. The right blinds, shades, and curtains can block the sunlight during the day and keep your home cool.
When looking for ways to make your home even more efficient, consider so-called “smart shades.” These high-tech and app-connected window coverings let you set-it-and-forget-it. Create a schedule to set your blinds to close while you’re at work for the day and re-open in the late afternoon as the day cools down. They’re also great for improving your home’s security, too!
Just as there are high-tech window coverings that can make your home more efficient, modern thermostats are amazing, too. One of the most popular models, the Nest home thermostat, is actually able to “learn” your preferred temperature. It adjusts itself to produce the optimal temperature while using the least amount of electricity.
Whole house fan
You don’t always need high-tech equipment to make your house more efficient. You can actually use the wonders of Mother Nature herself to cool your home. Because of our area’s climate, those hot days are generally accompanied by cooler nights.
Using a small and quiet, yet shockingly powerful whole house fan, you can flush hot air out of your house at night, replacing it with naturally cooled air. Then by closing your windows and lowering your blinds during the day, you can do even more to keep your home cool.
Whole house fans are generally installed in your attic and work by pulling cool air in from outside and using the natural air pressure to expel hot air out through open windows on lower floors of your home. It’s a simple concept and it’s one that really works!
Just buy a smaller home
Maybe your kids have moved out and you’re feeling like your nest is a little empty. Or you might be one of the many people looking to buy their first home. If you’re in the market for a new house in Southern California, consider efficiency from the very start.
One of the most overlooked ways to improve home efficiency is to buy a smaller home. 50 years ago, the average home was about ⅓ the size of homes built today. Heating and cooling a smaller home is just more efficient than a larger dwelling.
If you’re interested in an efficient and eco-friendly home, take into account the size of the home and how much space you actually need.
In addition to the home’s size, there are other things to consider, too:
Sun exposure – Do windows face east or west? When will you get the most sun?
Tree cover – Mature trees can provide shade and keep your home cool
Yard size – Big lawns need more water and aren’t an efficient use of resources
Keep reading about energy efficiency on the Inter Faith Electric & Solar blog