There is an urgent call to action for water and energy conservation throughout the year in the Greater Sacramento area. Luckily, detailed below are many different things someone can do in their efforts to conserve these rapidly depleting resources.
One of the first things to address in the conservation of energy around the house is water heaters. One thing that can be done is to wrap the water heater with a water heater blanket, to keep the already heated water warm. Another important step to take is to set the water heater temperature to 120 degrees. Also, it’s incredibly important to install low-flow showerheads and fix any leaky faucets.
When it comes to weatherization throughout the year, if your house is more than 15 years old, it’s important to check the insulation in the attic and floor to make sure nothing is damaged or old. Also, make sure to check weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows throughout the house, mainly because roughly 20% of the heat or cool air inside the house is simply leaked out through damaged doors and windows. Another tip is to think about how curtains or blinds are used throughout the house, because they can act as additional insulation for windows, or can be opened to let in the sun’s heat.
For lighting purposes, make sure to replace incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) with energy-efficient LEDs. Incorporating light-sensitive controls or light timers that work to automatically turn lights off when not in use is an important step in light conservation. Also, be sure to use desk lamps to focus light where it is needed, as opposed to lighting an entire room. And finally, make sure to switch to solar-powered lights for yard walkways and paths.
The appliances found around the house are vastly important in making a difference to energy conservation. Make sure to unplug or turn off lights and appliances when not in use and use smart strips to plug in and turn off multiple appliances at once. Only run dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers when they’re full, and avoid using these and other appliances during peak hours between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Clean the cooling coils located at the back or bottom of the refrigerator to keep it running efficiently and remember that every time the refrigerator door is opened, the compressor takes roughly 8 to 10 minutes to cool down. Also, look for Energy Star model appliances as they are 40% more efficient than older models.
Now that we have explained some energy-saving techniques, now it’s time to talk about water-saving tips. It’s important to find and install high-efficiency washing machines and low-flow toilets to reduce the amount of water wasted each time either of these appliances is used. Be sure to turn off sprinklers during winter months and follow the water purveyors who set an irrigation schedule, which means things like only watering the landscape between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., because that’s when water evaporation is at its lowest. Stay diligent about not letting the water run when brushing your teeth or shaving and consider reducing shower time to five minutes while avoiding baths.