With the celebration of Earth Day a few weeks ago and spring cleaning on the minds of a lot of homeowners, it’s the perfect time to make homes more earth-friendly and energy efficient. The fact is, with only a few small, affordable changes, homeowners could be on their way to saving 20% or more on monthly energy costs. Here, the home-efficiency pros from Service Experts share tips on how to start saving today.
1. Install a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat normally saves between 12% to 23% on an energy bill, and it’s also a remarkable tool to lower carbon emissions from a home. How do they do it? Smart thermostats go beyond only programming the time of day for the system to turn on or off. Some smart thermostats are intuitive and can identify changes in consumption patterns and home activity. They can also be programmed from another location, 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,” stated 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 begins, another eco-friendly move is to set up routine servicing and inspection of your air-conditioning system. Routine maintenance will help homeowners avoid significant repairs during the busy season for HVAC professionals and a system that performs optimally minimizes reliance on fossil fuel energy sources.
A tune-up involves cleaning all of the system’s key components, as well as testing and making adjustments to the unit’s operating system. In addition to checking refrigerant levels and switching out air filters, the condenser located outdoors should also be cleaned and examined.
“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.”
3. Add Insulation
Installing more insulation in a home is a green tip that could help save up to 20% on a utility bill. In many residences, air gets out through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has difficulty keeping a consistent temperature, it may be time to check attic insulation. Cold floors could also be a sign that basement insulation isn’t at the level you really need it to be. All of these worries also lead to increased 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. Make Sure Your Residence Is Airtight
Windows, ductwork, light sockets and weather stripping around doors are all locations in the home prone to leaks and heat loss or gain (in summer, no one wants hot air seeping in). Let Earth Day be a reminder to green up these areas of the house by making some easy repairs. Replacing old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two economical tasks that are relatively easy to tackle, said Lange, and will lower the load on HVAC systems and the electrical grid too.
5. Think About Developing an Energy Zoning System
To formulate a comfort zoning system for a home, a certified HVAC professional identifies zones 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 usually use numerous thermostats and adjustments to the ductwork. When joined with a smart thermostat, they can drastically 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 finances don'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. Many LEDs will last up to seven years and use about 90% less power than traditional bulbs.
7. Use Solar Energy
With as much as 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 generate an average savings of about $60,000 and greatly reduce a household'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.
To find out more about tips to make a home more energy efficient, visit ServiceExperts.com.