San Diego residents can practice sustainability initiatives for greener living

San Diego is fortunate to be located in temperate southern California, which allows residents here to avoid paying the high winter heating costs found in other regions of the country. For those seeking homes for sale in San Diego, this ideal climate is one of the many desirable attributes of the city. Like many other areas in California, San Diego has residents and city officials who are passionate about making the city support green living through sustainability initiatives. One way families here can get on board is by taking easy steps to make their homes more environmentally friendly.

Furnace filter
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, changing your furnace filter once a month can help save a lot of energy, and in turn will generate lower electricity bills. When filters are dirty, they use up additional energy because the furnace needs to work harder to pass air through the filter and into the home. Regularly replacing furnace filters will eradicate this problem and save a lot of energy, as the furnace will be able to work as intended.

According to the San Diego Environmental Services Department, up to 20 percent of a home’s heating and air can be lost through the ceiling, windows and drafty doors. Installing insulation in the home can prevent this tempered air from escaping, and can help keep rooms at the ideal temperature. The attic is especially important to insulate, as hot air tends to rise as it is released into the room. Insulating a home can save significant amounts of energy, as the air expelled by the heating or air conditioning system will not be lost – and need to be replaced – as quickly.

San Diego residents can take advantage of statewide programs - like Energy Upgrade California - that offer financial incentives to homeowners who wish to insulate their properties. According to the Union Tribune, you can get up to $4,000 to help upgrade your home and make it more energy efficient.

Portable heaters
As some rooms may be colder than others, San Diego residents can choose to heat smaller areas with space heaters rather than heat the entire house. The warmer-than-average temperatures allow residents to eliminate the need for whole home heating, which people can take advantage of to save energy and money. Investing in a portable heater can help keep the home at an ideal temperature while making the home more eco-friendly.

Utilize windows
There is an abundance of sunshine in San Diego that residents can use to their advantage. To save money and energy on heating, you can open your south-facing windows to let the sun help you heat your home. This sun is a natural, sustainable source of energy, as it naturally occurs throughout the year. When the sun goes down, you can close the windows and blinds to help seal in the warmth. With a properly insulated home, the heat can be felt in the home for as many as a few hours. Heating your home with the sun will allow you to use your heating system or furnace less often, which lets residents live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Go unplugged
An easy way that homeowners can save power is by reducing the amount of phantom energy used by the home. By unplugging kitchen appliances, lamps, televisions and other electronics while they are not in use, homeowners can lower the phantom energy - or energy expelled by electronic devices when they are turned off but still plugged in - that is unnecessarily used each day. Practicing this technique will allow homeowners to save at least five percent more energy and related costs.