7 Tips for a More Earth-Friendly and Energy-Efficient Home

With the celebration of Earth Day a few weeks ago and spring cleaning on the minds of many homeowners, it’s an ideal time to make homes more earth-friendly and energy efficient. The fact is, with only a few small, economical changes, homeowners could be on their way to saving 20% or more on monthly energy expenses. Here, the home-efficiency professionals from share techniques on how to start saving right now.

1. Install a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat typically saves between 12% to 23% on an energy bill, and it’s also a great tool to reduce carbon emissions from a household. How is that possible? Smart thermostats go beyond just programming the time of day for the heating or cooling system to turn on or off. Several smart thermostats are intuitive and can detect changes in consumption patterns and home activity. They can also be programmed remotely, and alert homeowners about changes that may affect their energy bill.

“This technology saves you money and also makes life easier,” said Service Experts’ Lisa Lange. “It’s a low-cost way to improve energy efficiency in your home immediately.”

2. Schedule a Heating and Cooling System Tune-up

Before the summer heat arrives, another eco-friendly move is to set up routine maintenance for your air-conditioning system. Routine maintenance will help homeowners avoid major repairs during the busy season for HVAC service crews 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, plus testing and making adjustments to the unit’s operating system. In addition to checking refrigerant levels and changing out air filters, the condenser located outdoors should also be cleaned and inspected.

“During your tune-up, it’s a great time to tap the expertise of an HVAC pro,” said 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.”

HVAC techs working outside

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 leaks out through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has trouble holding a consistent temperature, it may be time to inspect your home’s attic insulation. Cold floors might also be a sign that basement insulation isn’t at the level you really need. All of these problems also lead to higher energy consumption, which leads to increased 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. Ensure Your Home Is Airtight

Windows, ductwork, light sockets and weather stripping around doors are all locations in the home susceptible to leaks and heat loss or gain (in summer, no one wants hot air seeping in). Let Earth Day be a signal to green up these areas of the house by embarking on some easy repairs. Upgrading old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two low-cost tasks that are reasonably easy to tackle, said Lange, and will reduce the burden on HVAC systems and the electrical grid too.

Young man wearing overalls sealing cracks between window and trim using waterproof silicone caulk on the balcony.

5. Consider An Energy Zoning System

To develop a comfort zoning system for a home, a certified HVAC professional identifies areas in a house based on its layout, sun exposures and the amount of energy demand different areas require. The HVAC pro can then design a system that precisely distributes air through the home harmonizing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems often involve multiple thermostats and adjustments to the ductwork. When paired with a smart thermostat, they can dramatically improve comfort, save customers more than 30% on their energy bill and greatly 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. Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

If a homeowner’s budget doesn’t allow for major upgrades, replacing regular incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs is a low-cost eco-friendly decision with a big impact on the environment. The majority of LEDs will last up to seven years and use about 90% less power than traditional bulbs.

Power saving concept. Asia man changing compact-fluorescent (CFL) bulbs with new LED light bulb.

7. Consider Solar Energy

With some 30% in federal tax credits available to bring down the price 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 a household’s overall 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 ways to make a home more energy efficient, visit Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today.