San Diego, and California in general have always been ecologically friendly especially with the recent droughts we’ve had. Clearly getting energy efficient appliances makes the most sense toward reducing your carbon footprint in your home, but can take a lot of time and money. Here are 5 simple ways to make your San Diego home more sustainable.
Unplug unused electronics
Electricity is a necessity to power our lives. One small adjustment you can make in your home is to unplug unused electronics. Anything plugged into the wall still uses electricity regardless if it is use or not. I personally have unplugged all lamps that are unused but help with aesthetic appeal. I have a nice little reading corner that looks wonderful, but I don’t use it as much as I would want so I keep that lamp unplugged.
If the idea of unplugging and plugging back electronics you may or may not use sounds like a hassle, don’t worry. Many places such as Home Depot and Amazon offer outlets and plugs with timers varying in price and outlets to accommodate even the pickiest customers. These outlets/plugs can be programmed to turn off after automatically.
Many of the homes built in San Diego do not have air conditioning, and this is mainly due to climate change. Back when San Diego housing was being constructed there was moderate weather, it didn’t get too hot, and there was no need for air conditioning. But recent global changes have forced San Diego to have radical climate with colder winters and sweltering summers. The constant battle of humidity left from condensation from both seasons has made many homes susceptible to mold.
Any easy and effective way to clean mold is to spray Vinegar instead of other harmful chemicals. Vinegar will effectively destroy mold, calcium buildup, and bacteria while remaining nontoxic. It is versatile enough to use on counters, bathrooms, kitchen appliances like coffee makers, and is safe enough for pets or babies to be around. Simply spray vinegar on the desired area, scrub, wipe, and repeat if necessary.
Bring the outdoors inside
It has been estimated that 90% of the population spend their days indoors. This means the air quality is very important to keep from getting sick and inhaling harmful deposits. One way to combat this is to bring plants indoors. There are various species to help clean your air all ranging in gardening experience. If you tend to have more of a black thumb than a green thumb like me, I suggest the Spider plant. Contrary to its name it is not a scary or difficult to cultivate. These are among the easiest houseplants to grow, making them a great choice for beginners or forgetful owners. This plan can even multiply and give you smaller spider plants making your money well worth it. The spider plant removes formaldehyde and xylene.
Take advantage of windows
The sun is undoubtedly the most useful ally when it comes to energy proving it can cook an egg during the summer. Use the sun’s unlimited energy to your advantage. During the winter open your curtains and blinds to allow as much sunlight as possible. This will help heat up your home when you are at work. You can also use thicker curtains for extra insulation at night and closing them will help retain heat during the chilly nights
This also works the other way around. When the summer arrives in San Diego, draw your blinds to reduce the energy transferred by the sun. Darker rooms tend to be colder than rooms with a light source. Both will help reduce the usage of electricity and heat to warm or cool a place down.
Close unused rooms
For those of us who have pets we are already used to closing door to rooms we are not in. A good way to reduce using your heater is by closing unused rooms and only heating up the ones occupied. This helps reduce the time it takes to heat up a home and reduces the amount of gas used. Another way to help circulate the hot air is by taking advantage of a ceiling fan.
It is the same thing in the summer months if you have AC. Closing door prevents electric waste when certain rooms are unoccupied.
Take advantage of Ceiling fans
Ceiling fans are one of the most common appliances in San Diego. During the winter months, you can turn on your heat source and place your ceiling fan on reverse. This is where science kicks in. The hot air will naturally rise to the ceiling, a ceiling fan will force the hot air down and help distribute heat evenly.
During summer months, a ceiling fan will help circulate the air and create slight breezes. However, to fully enhance this we suggest opening windows to create cross breeze from room to room. The ventilation will reduce pollution and stale air in the home by working together with the windows.