- Add insulation in the attic and walls. You can use batts, rolls, or blown-in cellulose.
- Wrap all water pipes.
- Install low-flow faucets (1.5 gallons per minute).
- Install low-flow toilets (1.1 to 1.28 gallons per flush).
- Install low-flow showerheads (1.6 to 2.0 gallons per minute).
- Replace all incandescent lighting with LED light bulbs.
- Use solar tubes to light dark, enclosed, or windowless spaces, such as hallways, closets, and bathrooms. Some solar tube models feature both lights and fans.
- Replace all single-glazed windows with low-E dual-glazed windows.
- If window replacement is beyond your budget, install a product such as 3M Thinsulate film on single-glazed windows.
- When you reroof, use a heat barrier.
- Install solar fans in the garage and attic to pull out heat on hot days.
- Replace older appliances—stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, washer, dryer, water heater—with more energy-efficient models. It is best to use appliances that say Energy Star.
- Consider installing a tankless gas or electric water heater.
- If a tankless model is beyond your budget, you can save energy by wrapping your water heater with a thermal blanket for less than $30.
Landscaping and Irrigation
- Position landscaping materials to make your home more comfortable and enjoyable.
- Place hedges and trees so that they will provide shade.
- Avoid large areas of grass or turf.
- Install plants that are California natives and/or drought tolerant.
- Use soaking tubes to irrigate where and when necessary, usually about once a week.