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 the perfect time to make homes more earth-friendly and energy efficient. In fact, with only a few small, economical changes, homeowners could be on their way to saving 20% or more on monthly energy costs. Here, the home-efficiency pros from share tricks on how to start saving now.

1. Purchase a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat usually saves between 12% to 23% on a power bill, and it’s also a remarkable tool to lower carbon emissions from a residence. How do they do it? Smart thermostats provide more functions than just programming the time of day for the system to turn on or off. A number of smart thermostats are intuitive and can identify changes in energy usage patterns and home activity. They can also be programmed remotely, and alert 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 starts, another eco-friendly move is to reach out to an Expert for routine servicing and inspection of your air-conditioning system. It will help homeowners avoid costly repairs during the busy season for HVAC technicians and a system that performs optimally minimizes reliance on fossil fuel energy sources.

A tune-up 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 outdoor condenser should also be cleaned and checked.

“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.”

HVAC techs working outside

3. Add Insulation

Adding insulation to a home is a green tip that could help save up to 20% on an energy bill. In many residences, air gets out through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has trouble keeping a consistent temperature, it may be time to check attic insulation. Cold floors may also be a sign that basement insulation isn’t at the level you really need. All of these worries also lead to additional energy consumption, which leads to more 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 cue to green up these areas of the house by embarking on some simple repairs. Upgrading old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two economical tasks that are fairly easy to tackle, said Lange, and will lessen 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. Use An Energy Zoning System

To create 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 have. The HVAC pro can then design a system that correctly distributes air in the home balancing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems often use multiple 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. Install Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

If a homeowner’s budget doesn’t permit for major upgrades, replacing regular incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs is an affordable eco-friendly decision with a big impact on the environment. Many LEDs will last up to seven years and use about 90% less electricity 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 cost 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 homeowner’s cumulative 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 how to make a home more energy efficient, visit Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today.