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

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

1. Use a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat normally saves between 12% to 23% on an energy bill, and it’s also a remarkable tool to cut down on carbon emissions from a home. How do they do it? Smart thermostats provide more functions than only programming the time of day for your HVAC system to turn on or off. Several smart thermostats are intuitive and can detect 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,” 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 starts, another eco-friendly move is to set up routine maintenance for your air-conditioning system. This 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 maintenance appointment involves cleaning all of the system’s key components, plus testing and making adjustments to the unit’s operating system. In addition to checking refrigerant levels and switching out air filters, the condenser located outside the house should also be cleaned and inspected.

“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 an eco-friendly tip that could help save up to 20% on an energy bill. In many households, air escapes through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has trouble holding a consistent temperature, it may be time to examine the building’s attic insulation. Cold floors might also be a sign that basement insulation isn’t at the level you really need. All of these worries also lead to higher 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. Make Sure the House Is Airtight

Windows, ductwork, light sockets and weather stripping around doors are all locations in the home subject to leaks and heat loss or gain (in summer, no one wants steamy air seeping in). Let Earth Day be a signal to green up these areas of the house by embarking on some quick repairs. Upgrading old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two low-cost tasks that are reasonably 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. Consider An Energy Zoning System

To develop a comfort zoning system for a home, a certified HVAC specialist 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 weighing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems commonly utilize several 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 noticeably 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 spending plan doesn’t permit for major upgrades, replacing standard incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs is an affordable eco-friendly decision with a huge impact on the environment. The majority of 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 up to 30% in federal tax credits available to reduce 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 yield 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.

To learn more about ways to make a home more energy efficient, visit Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today.