It can be daunting trying to address the looming threat that is global warming. When observed from afar, the problem can seem so widespread and insurmountable that we can begin to feel helpless, like nothing we do makes a difference. It’s important, however, to not fall victim to this defeated approach. As homeowners, there are numerous things we can do to contribute to a cleaner and greener planet—while also saving money.

At Apec Inc., we are committed to helping you save money, live comfortably, and conserve energy. From energy audits to HVAC services to a complete solar installation, we strive to provide Southern California with comprehensive energy-efficient services. Learn more about our services here and contact our solar contractors today for your free quote.

Read on to learn about some simple, yet proven-effective ways you can save money and do your part to create a greener earth.

Replace Showerheads

Switching to a more energy-efficient showerhead can conserve water and the electricity used to heat the water. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), installing a WaterSense-labeled showerhead could save you upwards of 2,300 gallons of water each year. These showerheads are purported to provide just as satisfying water pressure as their traditional counterparts.

Do you think your current showerhead is inefficient? If it fills up a gallon bucket in 20 seconds, it is indeed, says the EPA.

Switch to Compact Fluorescent and LED Lights

By switching out lights for more modern and efficient alternatives, you can reduce energy usage as well as expand the life of your bulbs. Compact fluorescent lights (CFL) use 50-80% less energy than conventional bulbs, and they last up to ten times longer. If you want to really optimize your conservation, use LED bulbs, which last up to ten times longer than CFLs and use on average only 2-17 watts of electricity.

Turn Off Unnecessary Lights and Appliances

Although this may seem obvious, it’s worth mentioning because of its importance. According to Energy.gov, turning off two incandescent bulbs for an average of two hours per day can save you $12 per year. Though this may not seem like a lot, when you factor in other appliances into this number, your savings can quickly add up to a hefty chunk of change.

Stay Warm and Cool the Eco-Friendly Way

When possible, avoid using air conditioners. Instead, open the windows and turn on fans. We know that in Southern California this isn’t always possible, but making a habit of this on the cooler days can help you cut back on your energy usage. Similarly, in the cooler months, try to reduce heating usage. You can do this by adding insulating window treatments, long curtains, and making sure to insulate drafts.

Maintain Hot Water Heater

By reducing the heat of your hot water tank to 130 degrees—which is plenty hot enough for your warm shower—you can significantly cut back on your energy usage as well as money spent on utilities. Also, by covering your water storage tank in a specialized “blanket” that helps it retain heat, you can really optimize efficiency.

Install Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat allows you to preset temperatures for your home, which will reduce heating and cooling expenses when you don’t need it. In fact, Energy Star estimates that an average household can save about $180 annually on their energy bills. Though you can install a thermostat without the help of an HVAC contractor or an electrician, if you don’t feel comfortable doing this, don’t hesitate to contact Apec, Inc. We can help with all your thermostat and HVAC needs!

Wash Clothes in Cold Water

The Alliance to Save Energy (ASE.org) reports that by simply washing your clothes solely in cold water you can save up to $63 a year. Additionally, when drying your laundry, opt to hang-dry your clothes. If you do eight loads a week and dry four of your loads via hangers, you could save on average $47 a year.

Get an Energy Audit

Before you can go about implementing truly impactful and sustainable changes, it is imperative to first get an energy audit to pinpoint inefficiencies and, thus, areas to improve. At Apec Inc., energy auditing is one of our specialties. Rather than focusing on a single problem or treating a single symptom without addressing the underlying culprit, we inspect all the components of your home—HVAC system, insulation, the thermal envelope, appliances, lighting, etc. By doing this we are able to provide the most comprehensive and cost-effective results possible. Learn more about our energy audits here. Contact us today to schedule your audit!

All of the above-listed steps can be done on a long weekend, and when you implement these suggestions, you are well on your way to living a more energy-efficient life. If you need help knocking out these tasks or maximizing the efficiency of your home, contact Apec, Inc. From HVAC repair to commercial and residential solar installations, our team leverages their experience, expertise, and passion to help improve your comfort, health, safety, and the efficiency of your home. Learn more about our services here, and contact us today for your free quote.