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Green Spring Cleaning Tips from Renovate America

In the Community
March 24, 2016

Check Your Irrigation for Leaks

As you’re pulling out pesky weeds and adding new plants to your spring line-up, now’s the perfect time to check your irrigation for leaks or faulty sprayers. Better yet, if you’re relying on sprinklers to water your plants, one of the ways to reduce water usage at home is to consider installing drip irrigation instead. Not only will you avoid the evaporation, pooling, and runoff that you get with sprinklers, but you can improve the efficiency of water delivery.

Let the Weather Decide if You Should Water

While California might get some spring showers, the winter rains are done. Still, you might be overwatering, even if your irrigation is set on a timer or you’re hand-watering only on designated days.

One of the best ways to determine if your garden really needs to be watered is by installing a weather-based irrigation control system. These systems alter your yard’s watering schedule based on changes in temperature and rainfall. They can also help you save about 8,800 gallons a year, according to the EPA.

Look at Your Lighting

Days are getting longer and it’s staying lighter later, especially now that we’ve turned our clocks ahead. If you have outdoor lighting set to a timer, adjust it to come on later. For indoor illumination, open the drapes to let in more light rather than relying on overhead lighting.

However, lighting does account for 22 percent of electricity use in the average California home, so there’s a lot more you can do to reduce that average in your own home. Consider installing dimmers to reduce the amount of electricity you use in a room. Put in motion sensors outdoors so that porch light isn’t on all night. You can even purchase occupancy sensors, so when your absent-minded teenagers leave their rooms, the lights go off.

Clean your AC Unit

Unless you live in the desert, it’s probably been ages since you turned on your air conditioning unit. Still, before you do, you might need to clean or replace the air filter, which could be dirty or clogged, just like the air filter in your car. Replacing it can reduce the energy consumed by your AC from 5 to 15 percent, according to the Department of Energy.

Other maintenance items include replacing evaporator or condenser coils and condensation drains. Since most of us aren’t AC technicians, it might make sense just to call a professional to do it for you.

Take a Look at Your Thermostat

With spring upon us, nights are less chilly lately, so you can probably turn off your heater altogether. If you have a programmable thermostat, adjust the settings. And if you don’t have one of these awesome gizmos, you’re missing out on two awesome features. First, you can set the time you want the heater or AC to turn on and off automatically. You can also set what temperature will trigger the heater or the AC to go on.

Ready to spring into action to save energy and conserve water? Learn more about our unique financing program and get tips for your house renovation.