energy saving

Good Energy Saving Investments

Sometimes in Southern California we get weeks of heat in October, when it should be feeling more like fall. In our previous energy saving blogs we have discussed FAST AND FREE SUMMER CONSERVATION TIPS and INEXPENSIVE ENERGY SOLUTIONS, this time we want to discuss some good energy saving investments.

Photo Credit:  christianbroscabinets  via  Compfight

Photo Credit: christianbroscabinets via Compfight

Here are some energy saving investments you may want to consider to save money on your electricity bill and conserve energy.

Install a whole house fan

If you don't own an air conditioning unit, installing a whole house fan is a good alternative. It might not cool as good as an air conditioning unit, but the costs of purchasing and installing a whole house fan is cheaper than an air conditioning unit. Whole house fans typically use one-fifth to one-tenth of the electricity an air conditioning unit would use. Some utility companies offer rebates for having a whole house fan, so you should check with your local provider to see if you qualify for a rebate.

Install window shading

Window shading is a great way to block out the sun's heat from entering your home. This can definitely make a difference when it's hot out. For best results, make sure the shade is as close to the glass as possible. There are different styles and types of window shading out there, so it will be easy to find one to match your home and suit your needs.

Invest in a new AC unit

Newer air conditioning units are more energy efficient than their previous models. It would be a good idea to look into replacing your AC unit if it is really dated. It will save you money on your electricity bills.

If AC units are too expensive for your budget, you can look into the whole house fan, discussed earlier, as an alternative. You should also look into portable AC units or evaporative coolers as another alternative as well. For more information on portable AC units and evaporative coolers, you can check out our blog post, PORTABLE AIR CONDITIONING UNITS VERSUS EVAPORATIVE COOLERS - WHICH TO BUY?, which discusses the advantages and disadvantages of both portable AC units and evaporative coolers.

Seal your ducts

Sealing your ducts will prevent any air leaks and ensure you are using your heating and cooling system as efficient as possible, resulting in energy savings. Not only will sealing your ducts save you money, it also will also improve the air quality coming into your home by keeping out allergens, particles, and dust.

Replace your refrigerator or any other appliance with an ENERGY STAR model

If you need to purchase a new appliance for your home, it is best to choose an ENERGY STAR product. ENERGY STAR products are energy efficient appliances. In California, some electricity companies offer rebates for having ENERGY STAR products in your home. For instance, according to the ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder, if you live in Long Beach, CA, Southern California Edison will give you a $200 rebate on a hybrid heat pump water heater.

NOTE: These rebates change from time to time and vary based on your location, so it's best to check the ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder for the current list of rebates offered in your area.

Here is a link you can use to see what products utility companies offer rebates for based on where you live: ENERGY STAR REBATE FINDER

Increase attic insulation

Increasing the insulation in your attic is a great way to save energy in your home. With more insulation in your home, it prevents cold air from your cooling system or hot air from your heating system from escaping, making it easier to maintain a desired temperature in the house.

Keep these options in mind if you are looking into saving energy and saving money on your electricity bill in the long run.

Contact Kaplan Construction for your general contractor needs at (562)495-0483 or via email at BOB@KAPLANCONSTRUCTION.COM.

Inexpensive Energy Solutions

It's still pretty warm here in sunny Southern California. We are all still finding means of staying cool during the heat waves, but at the same time our electricity bills end up increasing.

Photo: One of Kaplan Construction's kitchen remodels in Belmont Shore. For more photos of this kitchen remodel, click  here .

Photo: One of Kaplan Construction's kitchen remodels in Belmont Shore. For more photos of this kitchen remodel, click here.

Our last blog post on energy conservation focused on Fast and Free Energy Saving Tips, but now we are going to provide some inexpensive energy saving tips.

  • Replace air conditioning filter.
    Replacing air conditioning filters will ensure a clean air flow throughout your home and prevent stressing out your air conditioning unit. Dirty filters will cause your air conditioning unit to work harder, meaning more energy consumption. Replace filters monthly for maximum benefits.
     
  • Plug your home's leaks.
    Plugging in your home's leaks will help save energy. With cracks between windows and doors, cool air from your air conditioning unit or hot air from your heater can easily escape your home, causing your air conditioning unit or heating unit to work harder than it should. Weather-strip, seal, and caulk leaky doors and windows, and install foam gaskets behind outlet covers.
     
  • Choose ENERGY STAR products.
    If you need to purchase a new appliance for your home, it is best to choose an ENERGY STAR product. ENERGY STAR products are energy efficient appliances. In California, some electricity companies offer rebates for having ENERGY STAR products in your home. 

Doing these fixes for your home, will help you save money on your electricity bill and conserve energy.

To read more on inexpensive energy solutions, click here.

Fast and Free Summer Conservation Tips!

Summer is just around the corner! With summer comes higher utility bills. Here are some fast and free conservation tips from the Consumer Energy Center California Energy Commission to ensure you're conserving during summer!

Photo: One of Kaplan Construction's projects. A home remodel in Long Beach, CA. For more photos of this home, click  here .

Photo: One of Kaplan Construction's projects. A home remodel in Long Beach, CA. For more photos of this home, click here.

  • Use your microwave to cook. Microwaves use 2/3's less energy than cooking on a stove.
  • Use your dishwasher to wash dishes (make sure it's a full load). Dishwashers use less water than hand washing. To save energy, let your dishes air dry.
  • Having lots of food in your refrigerator prevents the fridge from warming up too fast when the door is open. So fill up your fridge, so your fridge does not have to work as hard to stay cool.
  • Turn up your thermostat to 78 degrees when you are home and 85 degrees or off when you are away.
  • Help prevent power outages by using high energy consuming appliances (i.e. your washing machine and dryer) after 6 P.M.
  • Turn off lights and equipment when not in use.

For more tips on energy and water conservation, click here.

Hello, May! Your May To-Do List!

This month, we would like to focus on maintenance that will increase your energy efficiency at home.

Photo: The kitchen remodel of one of our clients in Belmont Heights, CA. To see more photos of this home, click  here .

Photo: The kitchen remodel of one of our clients in Belmont Heights, CA. To see more photos of this home, click here.

Here is your May home maintenance to do list!

  1. Clean your windows and window screens. This will allow you to enjoy the natural ventilation of your home.
  2. Optimize your thermostat or install a thermostat to use your energy efficiently.
  3. Clean your AC units.
  4. Check all appliances for buildup and clean.
  5. Seal all cracks around doors and windows.
  6. Lower your water temperature.

For detailed information on each task, coverhound.com offers a blog post on this topic here.

For a printable to-do list, click here.