With the celebration of Earth Day recently 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. In fact, with only a few small, inexpensive changes, homeowners could be on their way to saving 20% or more on monthly energy expenses. Here, the home-efficiency pros from Service Experts share tricks on how to start saving now.
1. Install a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat typically saves between 12% to 23% on an electricity bill, and it’s also a remarkable tool to reduce carbon emissions from a home. How do they do it? Smart thermostats provide more functions than simply programming the time of day for your HVAC system to turn on or off. Several smart thermostats are intuitive and can identify changes in energy usage patterns and home activity. They can also be programmed while you are away via an app, and alert homeowners about changes that may impact 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. Hire a Professional to Perform a Heating and Cooling System Tune-Up
Before the summer heat hits, another eco-friendly move is to reach out to an Expert for an air-conditioning system tune-up. 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 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 examined.
“During your tune-up, it’s a great time to tap the expertise of an HVAC pro,” noted 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 an eco-friendly tip that could help save up to 20% on an energy bill. In many households, 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 examine the building's attic insulation. Cold floors might also be a sign that basement insulation isn’t satisfactory. All of these concerns also lead to additional 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 susceptible to leaks and heat loss or gain (in summer, no one wants muggy air seeping in). Let Earth Day be a signal to green up these areas of the house by doing some quick repairs. Replacing old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two economical tasks that are reasonably easy to tackle, said Lange, and will lower the load on HVAC systems and the electrical grid too.
5. Use an Energy Zoning System
To formulate a comfort zoning system for a home, a certified HVAC Expert identifies areas 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 precisely distributes air in the home balancing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems commonly utilize several thermostats and adjustments to the ductwork. When paired with a smart thermostat, they can substantially 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 finances don't make it possible for major upgrades, replacing traditional incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs is an affordable, eco-friendly decision with a big 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 some 30% in federal tax credits available to lower 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 yield 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 more information about ways to make a home more energy efficient, visit ServiceExperts.com.