Blog

November 20, 2020

This week was #UtilityScamAwarenessWeek and our utility partners spread awareness about common scams. We'd like to remind you QCS will NEVER ask you to pay for any service we provide! All of our work is through the utility-funded Energy Savings Assistance Program, administered under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. If you are eligible for CARE utility discounts, Medical/Medicaid, CalFresh, food stamps, SSI, or many other programs you qualify! ESA upgrades may include free smart Wi-Fi connected Nest™ thermostats, attic insulation, appliance upgrades including energy efficient refrigerators, SuperSaver LED light bulbs, replacement of outdoor lighting fixtures, smart power surge protectors, and door and window weather stripping. Again, QCS will never ask you to make any payments for any services we provide.

November 13, 2020

Air infiltration is the exchange of air through cracks and gaps in the outside shell of a home or building. Through the utility-funded Energy Savings Assistance Program we use several measures to help seal customer's homes, including:

  • Door & Window Weatherstripping seals cracks around doors and windows to weatherize your home and keep out drafts.

  • Switch & Outlet Sealers will eliminate drafts, insulate, and help seal exterior wall receptacles.

  • Caulking seals air leaks through small cracks, gaps, or joints between stationary building components and materials, and can prevent water damage when used around water fixtures, tubs, showers, and sinks.

November 6, 2020

HVAC systems are used to control the environment and keep the occupants comfortable inside a building or home. If this is done improperly, people within the building could experience health issues from the build up of mold or other harmful organisms.

QCS has over 20 years of experience providing efficient HVAC services to CA residents. The average household spends more than $2,200 annually on energy bills, between 45%-50% goes towards heating and cooling costs. So making smart decisions about your home’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can have a big effect on your utility bills and your comfort.

Here in SoCal it's going to get a bit chilly this weekend. Is your furnace in good shape? If you qualify for the ESA program you can get a tune-up, maybe even a repair or replacement, for free! Picture from a new install we did a month or so ago

October 30, 2020

Residential LEDs are free through the utility-funded Energy Savings Assistance Program, and are among the most common measures we install.

In addition to being far more efficient than incandescent and CFLs, the Department of Energy identifies these three key differences that set LEDs apart:

  1. Light Source: LEDs are the size of a fleck of pepper, and a mix of red, green, and blue LEDs is typically used to make white light.

  2. Direction: LEDs emit light in a specific direction, reducing the need for reflectors and diffusers that can trap light. This feature makes LEDs more efficient for many uses such as recessed downlights and task lighting. With other types of lighting, the light must be reflected to the desired direction and more than half of the light may never leave the fixture.

  3. Heat: LEDs emit very little heat. In comparison, incandescent bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat and CFLs release about 80% of their energy as heat.

October 23, 2020

Many of our customers love receiving brand new Nest Wi-Fi thermostats through the utility-funded Energy Savings Assistance Program. These thermostats allow you to control the temperature of your home from the Wi-Fi connected device of your choice. These easy-to-use devices are just one of the many free home upgrades you may receive after qualifying for the ESA program. Give us a call or click here (para español, llame o pulse aquí) to see if you qualify! What do you have to lose, but high energy bills?

October 16, 2020

Through the utility-funded Energy Savings Assistance Program and other energy savings initiatives Quality Conservation Services has upgraded over 100,000 California homes at no cost the customer. Program upgrades include whole-home weatherization, new appliances, and door and window replacements. These measures are provided to the customer for FREE, and help them to save energy and money for years to come.

October 9, 2020

This week as part of the Southwest Gas funded Energy Savings Assistance Program, two of our technicians, Jesse and Sierra, installed water heaters and attic furnaces. Appliance upgrades are just one of the great services California residents can receive for free through these utility-funded programs.

October 2, 2020

We've teamed up with Community Action Partnership (CAP) Orange County to bring our customers more upgrades and services. In the past two weeks we've replaced customers' dishwashers and repaired EVAP coolers. Fill out the form on our enroll page or give us a call to see what we can do for you!

September 22, 2020

Fall is here!

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Today is the first day of Fall! Even though the weather in southern California hasn't felt much like fall, QCS has energy saving tips from the Department of Energy for when those cool breezes start to come around.

Take Advantage of Heat from the Sun

  1. Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

Adjust the Temperature

  1. When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable.

  2. When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A smart or programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.

  3. If you have a heat pump, maintain a moderate setting or use a programmable thermostat specially designed for use with heat pumps.

Find and Seal Leaks (we do this for free through the ESA program!)

  1. Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes ("plumbing penetrations"), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.

  2. Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.

Reduce Heat Loss from the Fireplace

  1. Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.

  2. When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly--approximately 1 inch--and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.

  3. If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.

  4. If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.

  5. Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and make it as snug as possible.

  6. Purchase grates made of C-shaped metal tubes to draw cool room air into the fireplace and circulate warm air back into the room.

  7. Add caulking around the fireplace hearth. Find out more techniques to improve your fireplace or wood-burning appliance's efficiency.

As always QCS can help you save energy and money this fall through utility-funded programs. If you live in the Bay Area, the IE, or the greater Los Angeles area give us a call or visit us online here and find out how you can get FREE energy saving upgrades to your home.

September 14, 2020

One service we provide for free to our customers through the utility-funded ESA program is lighting upgrades with LED lightbulbs! According to the Department of Energy residential LEDs use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. Call or click here to enroll today. Para español, llame o pulse aquí.

August 18, 2020

PPE on an attic furnace replacement? Of course! We never mess around with safety. Click here to see if we can help you save energy and money!

August 5, 2020

Summer Savings II

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We’re here to help you save energy and money at the same time. Enroll in our free programs and start saving today. Enrolling in the Energy Savings Assistance (ESA) program means you also qualify for California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE). CARE gives you a 30-35 percent discount on your electric bill and a 20 percent discount on your natural gas bill. And while you're here, check out these tips from the Department of Energy on keeping your home cool and your energy bill down.

USE YOUR WINDOWS AND FANS TO GAIN COOL AIR AND KEEP OUT HEAT

  • If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.

  • Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.

  • Learn about how natural ventilation can help keep your home cool, especially at night.

  • Be sure to use window coverings, like curtains or drapes, to prevent heat gain through your windows

OPERATE YOUR THERMOSTAT EFFICIENTLY

  • Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer (every degree matters!). The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.

  • Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.

KEEP YOUR COOLING SYSTEM RUNNING EFFICIENTLY

  • Change or clean your filters regularly.

  • Vacuum vents regularly to remove any dust buildup. Ensure that furniture and other objects are not blocking the airflow through your vents.

DON'T HEAT YOUR HOME WITH APPLIANCES AND LIGHTING

  • On hot days, avoid using the oven; cook on the stove, use a microwave oven, or grill outside.

  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. Consider air drying both dishes and clothing.

Finally, check out this cool infographic on home cooling!

July 29, 2020

One month back in action! Our crews are taking great care to make sure our customers and they themselves are as safe as possible!

July 22, 2020

California Senate Bill 1403

State Senator Ben Hueso, with the help of the Energy Efficiency Council, has introduced SB-1403 to help expand the ESA Program to more people. This bill simply changes the definition of "low-income customers" to allow more people to access this free, utility-funded program. Allowing more people to access free weatherization and appliance upgrades, will help reduce their energy utility bills, increase their quality of life, support economic development, and advance California's efforts to achieve its climate goals.

You can learn more, including how you can help, by going to energyefficiencycouncil.org.

July 22, 2020

The Utility-Funded ESA Program

One way we can help reduce your electricity bill is by providing free weatherization services through the utility-funded Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESA). Services provided include attic insulation, energy efficient refrigerators, energy efficient furnaces, weatherstripping, caulking, low-flow showerheads, water heater blankets, and door and building envelope repairs which reduce air infiltration. Also, enrolling in ESA means you automatically qualify for California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE). CARE provides a 30-35 percent discount on your electric bill and a 20 percent discount on your natural gas bill. So what do you have to lose? Give us a call or hop over to our Enroll page and fill out a quick form. We'll see what we can do for you.

July 15, 2020

Covid-19 Safety Message

The health and safety of the families of the people we serve and of our employees are our very top priorities. Like you, we are closely monitoring the rapidly evolving developments surrounding COVID-19 and our efforts to keep you protected will continue to evolve as well as more information becomes available.

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Below are some measures we at Quality Conservation are taking to ensure the safety of you and your family as we provide you with your free energy improvements through your utility-sponsored Energy Savings Assistance (ESA) program:

  • We require masks and other company-issued PPE to be worn by all employees while in your home as well as in public spaces, including our own offices and warehouses.

  • To reduce the possibility of transmission within your home, our employees will practice social distancing with you, and provide you and your family with masks for your use and keep windows open to maximize fresh air flow.

  • We require employees to wash their hands with hand sanitizer regularly and always upon arrival at and departure from your home.

  • We are sanitizing all of our vehicles and equipment with a focus on high-frequency touch-points such as handles, seats, steering wheels, gas caps, and more.

  • All of our employees must participate in COVID related safety training.

  • We are requiring daily COVID related self-evaluation of every employee visiting your home or working in an office, including separate body temperature readings each day before their shift begins.

  • We will be conducting random un-announced in-field safety inspections to assure that the crews that visit your home are using all of the safety practices called for.

  • We are deep-cleaning our facilities with a focus on high traffic areas such as door handles, desktops, and other hard surfaces.

  • We are directing our team members to stay home and consult their healthcare providers if they feel even the slightest symptoms.

We truly appreciate the trust that you place in our team and our company and we are working diligently to assure that such trust continues to be well placed. For any questions or to inquire further about the steps we are taking as a company to keep our customers and employees safe, please call us at 866-794-5129.

July 9, 2020

Virtual Enrollment in the Energy Savings Assistance Program and California Alternate Rates for Energy are open now!

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Both of these programs have the same income requirements! We are a certified contractor for ESAP with PG&E, SoCal Gas, Southern California Edison, and Southwest Gas. Enrollment in ESAP automatically enrolls you in CARE for 30-35% off your electric bill and 20% off you natural gas bill.

September 19, 2019

Fall is nearly here!

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The first day of fall is September 23rd! Even though the weather in southern California hasn't felt much like fall, QCS has energy saving tips from the Department of Energy for when those cool breezes start to come around.

Take Advantage of Heat from the Sun

  • Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

Adjust the Temperature

  • When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable.

  • When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A smart or programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.

  • If you have a heat pump, maintain a moderate setting or use a programmable thermostat specially designed for use with heat pumps.

Find and Seal Leaks

  1. Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes ("plumbing penetrations"), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.

  2. Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.

Reduce Heat Loss from the Fireplace

  1. Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.

  2. When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly--approximately 1 inch--and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.

  3. If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.

  4. If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.

  5. Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and make it as snug as possible.

  6. Purchase grates made of C-shaped metal tubes to draw cool room air into the fireplace and circulate warm air back into the room.

  7. Add caulking around the fireplace hearth. Find out more techniques to improve your fireplace or wood-burning appliance's efficiency.

As always QCS can help you save energy and money this fall through our various programs. If you live in the Bay Area, the IE, or the greater Los Angeles area give us a call or visit us online at qcsca.com/enroll and find out how you can get FREE energy saving upgrades to your home.

August 5, 2019

Summer Savings

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We’re here to help you save energy and money at the same time. Enroll in our free programs and start saving today. While you're at it, check out these tips from the Department of Energy on keeping your home cool and your energy bill down.

USE YOUR WINDOWS AND FANS TO GAIN COOL AIR AND KEEP OUT HEAT

  • If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.

  • Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.

  • Learn about how natural ventilation can help keep your home cool, especially at night

  • Be sure to use window coverings, like curtains or drapes, to prevent heat gain through your windows

DON'T HEAT YOUR HOME WITH APPLIANCES AND LIGHTING

  • On hot days, avoid using the oven; cook on the stove, use a microwave oven, or grill outside.

  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. Consider air drying both dishes and clothing.

July 9, 2019

PG&E Offers 2 FREE Programs

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Energy Savings Assistance Program

The Energy Savings Assistance Program, funded by Pacific Gas and Electric Company, provides FREE comprehensive energy saving home improvements and services to income-qualified renters and homeowners, whose home is at least five years old. These are installed FREE by Quality Conservation Services and other approved and licensed contractors, provided your home has not already participated in this or a similar free weatherization program after 2014.

FREE energy improvements offered by Quality Conservation to eligible homeowners and renters* who are residential customers of Pacific Gas and Electric Company may include:

  • Attic insulation

  • Energy Efficient Refrigerator replacement

  • SuperSaver LED light bulbs

  • Replacement of outdoor lighting fixtures

  • Torchiere lamps

  • Smart power surge protectors

  • Door and window weather stripping

  • Caulking and sealing of air leakage points

  • Minor energy saving repairs to doors, windows, walls, etc.

  • Water-saving aerators and massage showerheads

  • Water heater blankets

  • Furnace replacement or repair** (owner-occupied only)

  • Water heater replacement or repair** (owner-occupied only)

  • E for CARE utility bill discounts of 20% (gas) and 30 + % (electric)

*Renters need written permission from property owners to receive program services.

**Repair or replacement services may be available when existing natural gas units are deemed inoperable or hazardous.


Custom Home Energy Solutions

The Custom Home Energy Solutions Program, funded by Pacific Gas and Electric Company, provides FREE energy saving home improvements and services to moderate- and middle-income renters and homeowners, whose home is at least five years old. These will be installed FREE by Quality Conservation Services and other approved and licensed contractors, provided your home is not eligible for the more comprehensive Energy Savings Assistance Program, nor participated in the Energy Savings Assistance Program or a similar program since before 2015.

FREE energy improvements offered by Quality Conservation to eligible homeowners and renters* who are residential customers of Pacific Gas and Electric Company may, if needed, include:

  • Smart Wi-Fi connected Nest tm Thermostats

  • SuperSaver LED light bulbs

  • Smart Tier II power strips

  • Water-saving aerators and massage showerheads

  • Thermostatic valve showerheads

  • Air conditioner tune-ups and coil cleaning

  • Air conditioner refrigerant charge

  • Blower motor replacements

  • Enhanced time delay relays

  • Installation of all improvements

  • Energy-savings and cost-reducing tips and information

*Renters need written permission from property owners to receive program services.

Click Here to see if you qualify!

June 24, 2019

Energy Conservation: How Can Maintaining Appliances Save Both Money and Energy?

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Are your energy bills insane? Have you tried and failed to cut those costs? Well, it’s possible the problem isn’t just you, but your appliances.

Worn down or broken appliances are often the root cause behind energy conservation issues. That’s because they have to work harder and use more energy to complete normal, everyday tasks. And when this happens, you can end up with an outrageously high utility bill.

In this article, we’re sharing care tips to keep your appliances running, and your wallet happy.

Tips on Energy Conservation for Home Appliances

You don’t have to buy new appliances to be energy efficient. By simply caring for your appliances the right way, you can maintain energy efficiency, and keep your utility costs down.

In this article, we’re sharing care tips to keep your appliances running, and your wallet happy.

Load Things Appropriately

When it comes to appliances like dishwashers, washers, and dryers, the size of your load is important. If you put too many things in your washer or dryer, you can potentially damage the motor or other moving parts. And replacing these parts is often just as expensive as buying an entirely new machine.

It’s also important to avoid running these machines when they’re only at half-capacity. That’s because they use the same amount of water and energy for a half load as they would for a full. That means it costs just as much to wash a few items as it does to run an entire load.

By loading these machines correctly, you can take full advantage of their energy efficiency and avoid breaking them. Additionally, remember to clean out the lint trap and hose of your dryer.

Don't forget to check the trap and spray arm in your dishwasher for any lingering food particles, too, as this can impact the efficiency of your machine.

Take Care of Your Refrigerator

Did you know refrigerators use more energy than any other appliance? That’s why proper maintenance is incredibly important.

The first step in maintaining your fridge is cleaning the condenser coils on a regular basis. Dusty condenser coils force your refrigerator to work harder, which shortens its lifespan and drives up your utility bills. By cleaning your coils on a regular basis, you can save close to $500 over a 10 to 15-year period.

You should also set it the right temperature as over-cooling will cause it to use more energy than needed. You should aim to keep your refrigerator between 37 to 40 degrees. And a bonus tip: keep your refrigerator full as this ensures that the temperature is evenly distributed.

Clean Your Air Conditioners

To keep your air conditioner working properly, aim to replace your air filters once a month. Dirty air conditioner filters will only block your airflow, which makes it harder for your air conditioner to complete its job.

You should also aim to run your HVAC systems more economically. That means trying to avoid setting it to the coolest setting possible. A difference in 6 degrees can chop off a lot off your cooling costs. You should also consider a programmable thermostat that will increase the temperature while you’re away and reduce it when you get back.

Ready to be More Energy Efficient?

No one should have to deal with unnecessary energy costs. By trying out these simple tips, you can improve your energy conservation efforts and save money.

Do you need help being more energy efficient? Contact us to see how we help you get free weatherization and energy upgrades at zero cost to you!

May 26, 2019

Why Is My Electric Bill So High? Here Are 5 Reasons Why

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Summer is just around the corner, which means many households are bracing for higher energy bills. If you’ve already noticed a hike in the amount you pay each month, there’s a chance you’re looking for ways to save.

The condition of your home, your appliances, and your energy consumption habits all affect your monthly bill. Fortunately, this means there are plenty of areas where you can make improvements.

If you’ve been wondering, “Why is my electric bill so high,” keep reading. We’re going over five primary reasons.

1. Your Home is Poorly Insulated

If your home isn’t properly insulated, your HVAC system will have to work harder to keep things cool. This is a recipe for higher bills.

When the insulation in an attic gets old, it starts to develop holes or cracks. It could also take on moisture. All these things make it easier for air to leak in and out of your home.

Single-pane windows that aren’t sealed well and doors with gaps around the frame will also cause issues.

2. Improper Use of Appliances

Your washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher make life so much easier. However, they also use lots of energy.

Many people overuse these appliances when they don’t have to. This involves running the dishwasher before it’s full and doing many small loads of laundry instead of fewer large loads.

Once you start cutting down on how much you use these appliances, you’ll notice your energy bills evening out.

3. Old Appliances

The older your appliances are, the more energy they require. Even something like an old TV can drain energy.

If it’s time to replace some of your appliances, look for new models that are specifically designed to save energy. If you’re replacing a large appliance, make sure the new model you buy has an Energy Star rating.

4. Your HVAC Unit is in Disrepair

There are a number of problems that could require your HVAC unit to work harder in order to cool your home. When these problems happen, you can expect an increase in your bills.

Make sure you replace your AC filter once a month. This will prevent debris from getting your air ducts and other components of the HVAC unit.

It’s also important to have an HVAC inspection performed each year. This will help pinpoint issues that are hurting the way your AC operates.

5. Bad Habits

Leaving the lights on when you go to work and opening the windows with the AC on may seem harmless. However, it’s costing you lots of money.

In addition to making sure your family uses energy wisely, you should also invest in LED lightbulbs. The initial cost is more than traditional bulbs, but you’ll save money in the long run.

Why Is My Electric Bill so High? Stop Wondering

Energy bills are a fact of life, but there are ways you can keep them under control. All you need to do is set some ground rules and stay committed.

If you’ve been asking yourself, “Why is my electric bill so high,” go through the items discussed above and make changes where you can.

We can provide further assistance when trying to get control of your utility bills. Contact us to learn more.

April 15, 2019

Spring Savings: 5 Savvy Energy Saving Ideas For Spring

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With winter winding down, temperatures are on the rise, as are electricity bills. Summer is on the way, and that means longer days, more air conditioning, and more energy usage. Whether you’re looking to reduce your environmental impact or just save a few bucks on electricity, you may be looking for ways to increase your energy efficiency this spring.

Saving energy and money doesn’t have to be hard. Something as simple as turning off unneeded lights or bumping the thermostat up a degree or two can make a big difference. Read on to discover some great energy saving ideas you can use this spring.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

One of the best ways you can improve your home’s energy efficiency is to use a programmable thermostat. This will help you use energy cooling the house only when you need it – times when everyone is at home and active. Some of the smart thermostats will also learn your habits and develop energy-efficient schedules for you.

Install Energy-Efficient Devices

Using Energy-STAR-rated devices around your home can help you save a lot of energy. This can be as simple as installing an LED light bulb or as monumental as putting in a low-flow dishwasher or toilet. Check your gas and electric company website to see if they have discounts on energy-efficient devices.

Use Power Strips

Using power strips may not seem like a great way to save power, but it absolutely can be. Items like phone and computer chargers suck energy constantly even when nothing is plugged into them. Plugging these items into a power strip and turning it off when you aren’t using it can help you reduce your energy usage.

Maintain Your Heating and Cooling System

HVAC systems use by far the most electricity of any other single system in your house. So making sure they’re running at peak efficiency is a great way to decrease your energy usage. This includes changing out filters, getting them cleaned, and making any needed repairs as soon as possible.

Turn Down Your Water Heater

No one likes taking a cold shower, and we certainly aren’t saying you have to go without hot water this spring. But turning down the temperature on your hot water heater can go a long way towards conserving energy. Make sure no one is taking a shower right after you ran the laundry, and you’ll never notice the difference.

Find More Energy Saving Ideas

Being more energy-conscious doesn’t have to be hard. Putting in new light bulbs and turning down the temperature on your water heater can make a big difference in both your environmental impact and your electricity bill. What energy saving ideas are you going to use this spring?

If you’d like to learn more about making your home as energy efficient as possible, check out the rest of our site at Quality Conservation Services. We’re here to help you save energy and save more money at the same time. Enroll in our free programs and start saving today.

March 16, 2019

From the Floor to the Freezer: Energy Savings Tips for Household Appliances

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Energy efficiency has been a hot topic among homeowners for years. There's even a Home Energy Score rating system from the U.S. Department of Energy. And while we know that conserving energy is good for the planet, we shouldn't overlook the benefits to our wallet.

We're all looking for ways to save money. We use coupons for groceries, shop around for the best car insurance, and look out for sales at our favorite clothing stores. But many of us don't realize how easy it is to save money on our home energy expenses.

There are many ways you can improve the energy efficiency in your home, including changes to your home appliances. The options can seem overwhelming, so we've put together some tips to help. Read on for our five energy saving tips for household appliances.

1. Energy Saving Tips for Heating and Cooling that Don't Require New HVAC Equipment

There are some simple, affordable tips for summer and winter energy savings, so you can keep your home comfortable year-round. Install ceiling fans, use curtains and blinds, and consider a programmable thermostat. Take care of the equipment you have by changing out filters and scheduling maintenance checks to keep them running at peak performance.

2. Rethink Your Laundry Routine

When it comes to laundry, start by only using hot water when you need to sanitize, like for dirty workout clothing, new baby clothing, or sheets and towels. Also reconsider the detergent you're using, as many new formulas can be activated at room temperature. Be sure to clean your washing machine and your dryer vents regularly to keep these machines working efficiently.

3. Give Your Refrigerator an Energy-Efficient Makeover

Your fridge cools differently in different areas, so consult the manual to learn about the zones and store foods appropriately. Don't stack anything on top of your fridge, as this can affect the cooling coils in the back and also trap hot air. Finally, clean and reorganize your fridge regularly to get rid of clutter and make sure you're using the space available in the best way.

4. Change the Way You Cook to Save Electricity in the Kitchen

Sometimes we forget that our kitchen cooking appliance use also contributes to our monthly electric bills. Consider switching to a convection oven, which uses about 20% less electricity than conventional ovens. Use your microwave when you can, place pots and pans on complimentary sizes burners, and take advantage of pressure cookers.

5. Develop New Habits to Optimize the Use of All Your Appliances

We aren't just talking about turning off the lights when you exit a room or not leaving the refrigerator open while you look for a snack. Habits like turning off and unplugging electronics when not in use, including phone and laptop chargers, can make a big difference. Set out notes to remind yourself until these things become second nature.

Learn More About Creating an Energy Efficient Home

The energy savings tips we shared here are simple, basic ways to get started on saving energy and money. You can learn more by exploring our blog for articles with more of the best energy saving tips. You can also contact us to learn more about our services and the Energy Savings Assistance program.

February 4, 2019

Is Your Refrigerator Running? Improve Your Refrigerator Efficiency with These Smart Ideas

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In the United States, consumers buy over 8 million refrigerators annually. Fortunately, there are easy ways to improve refrigerator efficiency.

Refrigerators consume more energy than any other household appliance. If you improve your refrigerator's efficiency, you'll save money.

Here are some tips to make your refrigerator more efficient:

Refrigerator Efficiency: Temperature

Your refrigerator's temperature might be costing you extra money. Running a fridge 10 degrees colder takes up to a quarter more energy than a fridge at a good temperature.

You have a more efficient fridge at certain temperatures. The best temperature range for your refrigerator is between 35 and 38 degrees. Your freezer should be between 0 and 5 degrees.

If your fridge doesn't have an option to change the temperature, set the unit to its midpoint on the temperature dial.

Either way, check the temperature.

Avoid Heat

Exposure to any external heat source makes your refrigerator work harder. This increases its energy consumption and your electric bill.

If possible, avoid placing a refrigeration unit by an oven or dishwasher. You'll even want to stay away from putting a refrigerator in a sunny spot. All of these situations expose your refrigerator to extra heat.

If an appliance generates heat, try to keep it away from the fridge. This way, your fridge's compressor won't have to work extra hard and you'll save energy.

Replace The Gasket

The gasket is the rubber/plastic lining that protects your fridge from warm air. Its purpose is to help your fridge retain its cool temperature.

Unfortunately, gaskets lose their suction power as they age. When that happens, cold air escapes the fridge and warm air leaks in. That's why it's so important to replace weak gaskets.

It only takes a few years for gaskets to become worn out. This happens after repeated opening and closing. Without a functional gasket, your refrigerator will have to work harder to keep your food chilled.

Cover Leftovers

Never put leftovers in your fridge without putting them into a safe container first. The moisture from the exposed food gets into the refrigerator. This forces the compressor to work harder to keep the fridge cool.

Whatever you do, avoid putting hot food in your fridge at all costs. The heat from the food increases the temperature in your fridge. The compressor then needs to work harder to keep your food chilled.

Not covering leftovers leaves your food open to contamination. Plus, it'll make your fridge smell weird and operate less efficiently.

Organize Your Fridge

Here's one of the easiest efficient refrigeration tips you'll ever read: Organize your fridge. A well-stocked, organized fridge is at its most efficient. It takes less energy to keep a full fridge cool.

Just keep a few inches between the food and the fridge's walls to allow for airflow.

If your fridge is organized, people won't spend as much time looking for stuff. This decreases the amount of time your fridge is open, thereby increasing its efficiency.

Enhance Your Refrigerator Experience

Around 70% of refrigerators sold are top mount (meaning the fridge is on top and a freezer is on the bottom). Improving refrigerator efficiency can be simple no matter what kind of fridge you have.

November 15 is National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. Don't forget to clean off the top of your fridge. Keeping items on top of your fridge forces your refrigerator to retain heat.

Optimize your refrigeration system. It'll take your fridge's efficiency to the next level.

January 1, 2019

5 Winning Winter Energy Saving Tips

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Winter is coming. And with winter comes cold winds, snowy weather, and the urge to retreat indoors, crank up the heat, and hibernate with a mug of hot chocolate.

Because of this, winter energy bills can show over a 10% increase in both cost and usage. This averages out to almost 1,000 dollars in bills for just the winter season, almost 100 dollars more than any other season.

So what can you do to save energy (and money) this winter? You can start by following these five winter energy saving tips!

1. Layer Up

At the risk of sounding like everyone's father, we suggest that instead of cranking your thermostat up as high as it can go, leave it at a lower temperature and layer up with sweaters, blankets, holiday socks, scarfs, etc.

This will keep you warm without using up extra energy from heating your home. Obviously, you don't have to keep your house feeling like the arctic circle, but it also doesn't need to feel like a sauna, either.

This will also get you in the spirit of the season. Break out your ugly sweaters, your holiday blankets, and your winter hats!

2. Adjust the Thermostat

Resist the urge to set your thermostat to 80 degrees even when it feels like the tundra outside. Even decreasing your thermostat by 1 degree can save you 10% on your annual energy bill. Imagine how much you could save if you lower it 10 degrees and offset the cold by layering up.

3. Upgrade Your Thermostat

Speaking of keeping the thermostat at a reasonable temperature, now's the time to upgrade that old thermostat to a new programmable one.

Programmable thermostats will automatically lower the temperature during the day when you're not in the house, at night, when you leave on a trip, etc. They can be specifically programmed to follow your lifestyle, when you're home, when you're not, etc in order to be as energy efficient as possible.

4. Take Advantage of Natural Light

Just because it's winter doesn't mean that the sun has disappeared! Open up your curtains during the day and let the winter sun naturally heat up your home.

This will lessen your need to crank up the heater and brighten up your home at the same time.

5. Insulate

So you've set your thermostat and have your drapes open wide. You've insulated yourself with four layers. Now it's time to insulate your home.

Seal up any leaks or cracks in windows and walls with caulking to prevent drafts. Close your drapes at night to insulate your windows.

Install insulation around hot water pipes to decrease the time and energy it takes to heat up water. Insulate your walls to keep the heat inside and the cold outside.

Winter Energy Saving Tips: Final Thoughts

These five simple winter energy saving tips will significantly reduce your energy usage, which will help keep the Earth, and the contents of your wallet, nice and green. If you're looking for some more energy saving tips, look at the resources section of our website.

You can also find a list of energy savings programs for those with lower incomes who can't afford energy-saving maintenance and technology.

December 9, 2018

5 Smart Ways to Save Water Around Your Home

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The average shower requires over 17 gallons of water in just 8.2 minutes. So how long does your shower last? If your water bill is too high, you need to start looking for ways to save water.

Reducing your water usage isn't just about the bill, though. It is also environmentally friendly.

And having an environmentally friendly and efficient home isn't just about energy savings. It's also about saving water. Keep reading for 5 tips to conserve water and make your home greener.

1. Turn Off the Water When You Brush

When the water comes out of your bathroom faucet at 2.5 gallons per minute, you can save a ton of water by turning it off while brushing your teeth.

Turn the faucet on to get your brush wet, then turn it off. Leave it off until you are ready to rinse.

2. Let the Yellow Mellow

It may sound gross, and this tip may not be for everyone. We are pretty sure you can guess what we are referring to here. The toilet is one of the biggest uses of water in your home.

3. Fix Leaks

The easiest way to start saving water is to fix any and all of the leaks in your home. Even a small link can result in major water waste. A leaky faucet can end up wasting up to 3,000 gallons of water a year.

4. Wait Until You Have Full Loads

This works for both your dishwasher and washing machine. Both of these machines will fill with water when they are in use. Make the most of this water by only running them when they are full.

You may have a newer washer that lets you adjust the water usage for the size of the load. If this is the case, be sure to make any adjustments necessary.

5. Change Your Fixtures

Take a hard look at the fixtures you have in your home. Older fixtures tend to contribute to greater water consumption.

This is especially true for toilets. You can place a half gallon jug of water in the tank. This will take up space so that less water is used to refill it.

Do not try to use a brick, it will eventually break down. This will then cause damage to your tank.

Take a look at your faucets and change them out for low versions. You can also do this with your shower heads. You could use 20% less water with these efficient fixtures.

Which Ways to Save Water Will You Practice?

Take a moment and look around your home for ways to save water. You don't have to make major changes, but taking many small steps will add up.

You don't want to make your home energy efficient alone. There are plenty of assistance programs out there to help you.

See if you qualify for the ESA Program by filling out this simple form.

November 10, 2018

The Best Energy Saving Tips for California Homeowners

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Americans are number one! In energy waste, that is.

And while that may not seem like a big deal for the average homeowner, it’s much more expensive than you might think. Uncontrolled air leaks alone can add between $100 and $274 annually to your energy bills.

Don’t throw away your money. Check out these tips to bring your energy bills down and stretch your dollar a little further every month.

Set Your Thermostat

A good first step? Get smart with your thermostat.

Put it this way. You can save as much as 10% a year on your energy bills by turning your thermostat back seven to ten degrees from its normal setting for eight hours a day.

In winter, for example, you would set the thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit while awake and lower when you’re asleep or away. In summer, you would follow the same basic strategy, keeping your house warmer while you’re away and cooler (think 78 degrees Fahrenheit) when you’re awake and at home.

It might not seem like much, but when you do the math, it adds up over the years to a healthy chunk of change.

Ideally, when you’re asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat down by about ten degrees. When you’re in the house and awake, turn it down as low as comfortable.

The good news is that you can do all of this without thinking about it. Just use a programmable thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, you can program setpoint temperatures for certain times of the day.

Therefore, if you want your home ten degrees cooler during the day in the winter, you can tell the thermostat to reduce the temperature after 8 AM when everyone has left the house.

This way, you can maximize energy savings while keeping your family comfortable.

Since the thermostat knows when temperature needs to change, it can do so gradually to reduce the temperature shock.

Upgrade Your Insulation

Next, you need to upgrade your insulation.

It might seem counter-intuitive to worry about your insulation when you live in the California desert, but insulation doesn’t just keep heat in--it also keeps cool air in your house.

When you upgrade your insulation, you should pay particular attention to reducing ceiling and attic heat retention.

Focus on finding reflective insulation that will keep the summer sunlight out of your house. You also want to check your insulation for any gaps and potential leaks, as they will drain heat and cool air right out of the house (and thus, drain your wallet).

Be Smart About Lighting

Did you know that the average household puts about 5% of its energy usage toward lighting? It might not seem like much until you realize you could save $45 per year just by switching your five most-used light fixtures to energy-efficient bulbs.

If you can’t afford to replace all of your bulbs, there are two simple tasks you can do to reduce your lighting costs.

The first is simple: turn off lights when you’re not in the room and don’t turn on more lights than you need.

Second, unplug any lamps, gadgets, and appliances when they’re not in use.

You see, appliances and plugs continue to suck a small charge even if they aren’t plugged in (a phenomenon called vampire power).

It costs you nothing to plug in an appliance when you need it, but it saves a surprising amount of energy over the course of a year.

Programs to Help You Save Energy at Home

You’ve got a busy life, a busy family, and you need your income to stretch every last inch. We get it.

That’s why we want to help you save on your energy bills.

We offer a range of energy upgrade services from HVAC services to attic insulation and plumbing. Better still, we can do it at no charge to you as part of the Energy Savings Assistance program.

If you’re curious whether you qualify for free energy-efficient upgrades, click here to answer a few questions and enroll in our program today.

November 10, 2018

What is the Energy Savings Assistance Program?

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Americans waste a lot of energy--in fact, the US leads the world in energy waste.

And when you live in California, where water is a precious resource and the desert puts your AC through its paces, that has a major impact on your wallet.

What if we said you could get energy upgrades and home improvements for free? Yes, free. Keep reading to find out more about the California Energy Savings Assistance Program.

What is the Energy Savings Assistance Program?

The Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESA) is a program under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.

The program provides free weatherization services to households who meet California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) income guidelines. The goal is to help income-qualified renters and homeowners with easy, no-cost means to conserve gas, electricity, and water with the goal of lowering their energy bill and to improve California’s environmental health.

What’s Included in the Program?

You may qualify for:

  • A new refrigerator

  • Door weatherstripping

  • Attic insulation

  • New air conditioners

  • Hot water pipe insulation

  • Caulking

  • Faucet aerators

  • Low flow shower heads

  • Building and envelope repairs

  • High efficiency washing machines

  • And more

Qualifying homeowners can even receive furnace and water heater repair or replacement.

Better still, the cost of purchasing and installing the equipment is 100% free.

Who Qualifies for the Program?

The program is available to homeowners and renters* residing in single-family, multi-family, and mobile homes. However, renters may need approval from their landlord.

While there are several ways to qualify based on your household income level, the qualification process is streamlined for all households receiving benefits from any of the following programs:

  • Medi-Cal

  • Healthy Families Categories A&B

  • Women, Infants, & Children (WIC)

  • Cal WORKs

  • T.A.N.F.

  • Head Start Income Eligible (tribal only)

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance (BIA GA)

  • Food stamps

  • Free/reduced lunch programs

  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Check out CARE income guidelines for a closer breakdown of income eligibility requirements based on your household size.

If you’d like to find out if you qualify, answer a few simple questions on this page or get in touch with one of our representatives.

How Much You Can Save

You might be wondering: that’s all fine and good, but will this actually save me money on my utility bills? It will save a lot more than you might think.

Proper attic insulation alone can save you up to $600 per year in heating and cooling costs.

Or, there’s the refrigerator. If you replaced, for example, a 1990-1992 19-21.4 cubic-foot model with an energy-efficient refrigerator, you could save around $849 over five years.

For a closer breakdown of more energy-efficient savings, check out this page.

Upgrade Your House at No Cost to You

We know that you’ve got bills to pay and a family to feed. And while energy efficiency might seem like the last thing you have time to think about, it can actually make paying those bills a whole lot easier.

That’s why we offer a variety of home upgrade services to cut down on your energy bill, boost your home value, and improve your quality of life.

If you have any questions, use our contact page to get in touch. Or, if you’d like to speak to one of our qualified representatives about the ESA Program, call 888-490-0450 today.