7 Tips for a More Earth-Friendly and Energy-Efficient Home
With the celebration of Earth Day recently and spring cleaning on the minds of a lot of homeowners, it’s a great time to make homes more earth-friendly and energy efficient. In fact, with only a few small, inexpensive changes, homeowners could be on their way to saving 20% or more on monthly energy bills. Here, the home-efficiency professionals from Service Experts share tips on how to start saving today.
1. Purchase a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat typically saves between 12% to 23% on a power bill, and it’s also a great tool to lower carbon emissions from a home. How do they do it? Smart thermostats go beyond simply programming the time of day for the system to turn on or off. Several smart thermostats are intuitive and can recognize changes in power use patterns and home activity. They can also be programmed while you are away via an app, and can be programmed to send a notification to homeowners about changes that may cause a major increase to their energy bill.
“This technology saves you money and also makes life easier,” explained Service Experts’ Lisa Lange. “It’s a low-cost way to improve energy efficiency in your home immediately.”
2. Get a Heating and Cooling System Tune-Up
Before the summer heat arrives, another eco-friendly move is to reach out to an Expert for routine maintenance for your air-conditioning system. It will help homeowners avoid significant repairs during the busy season for HVAC pros and a system that performs optimally minimizes reliance on fossil fuel energy sources.
A routine servicing involves cleaning all of the system’s major components, as well as testing and making adjustments to the unit’s operating system. In addition to checking refrigerant levels and changing out air filters, the outdoor condenser should also be cleaned and examined.
“During your tune-up, it’s a great time to tap the expertise of an HVAC pro,” explained Lisa Lange. “We encourage customers to ask about thermostat settings, when to change air filters and bring any other questions they may have about the energy efficiency of their home.”
3. Add Insulation
Putting insulation in a home is an earth-friendly tip that could help save up to 20% on an electricity bill. In many homes, air gets out through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has trouble maintaining a consistent temperature, it may be time to check attic insulation. Cold floors might also be a sign that basement insulation isn’t at the level you really need it to be. All of these problems also lead to increased energy consumption, which leads to elevated carbon emissions.
“Many homeowners are surprised when they learn their home is under-insulated, but it’s actually quite common,” said Lange. “The good news is that, just like a smart thermostat, you can see the utility cost savings from this decision very quickly. You will also take comfort in knowing that you are helping improve our environment through reduced emissions.
4. Make Sure Your Residence Is Airtight
Windows, ductwork, light sockets and weather stripping around doors are all areas of the home subject to leaks and heat loss or gain (in summer, no one wants hot air seeping in). Let Earth Day be a cue to green up these areas of the house by making some simple repairs. Swapping out old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two low-cost tasks that are fairly easy to tackle, said Lange, and will lessen the strain on HVAC systems and the electrical grid too.
5. Use an Energy Zoning System
To develop a comfort zoning system for a home, a certified HVAC Expert identifies zones in a house based on its layout, sun exposures and the amount of energy demand different areas need. The HVAC pro can then design a system that properly distributes air throughout the home balancing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems commonly involve numerous thermostats and adjustments to the ductwork. When coupled with a smart thermostat, they can dramatically improve comfort, save customers more than 30% on their energy bill and seriously reduce a home’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“How many times in a day do we heat or cool a room no one is using? It happens all the time, and it adds up to significant energy waste, and these systems are an optimal solution,” Lange said.
6. Buy Energy-Efficient Light bulbs
If a homeowner’s spending plan doesn't allow for major upgrades, replacing standard incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs is a low-cost, eco-friendly decision with a huge impact on the environment. Most LEDs will last up to seven years and use about 90% less energy than traditional bulbs.
7. Go Solar
With as much as 30% in federal tax credits available to bring down the expense of a solar installation, there may never be a better time to install one on a home. Over their lifetime, these quality, energy-producing systems can produce an average savings of about $60,000 and greatly reduce your home's total carbon footprint.
“We have the best program in the country. Our experts will develop an energy savings plan that will help you get the most out of your system and show you’re making a direct positive impact on the environment,” Lange said.
For additional information about tips to make a home more energy efficient, visit ServiceExperts.com.