With the celebration of Earth Day a few weeks ago and spring cleaning on the minds of a lot of homeowners, it’s a great time to make homes more earth-friendly and energy efficient. The truth is, with only a few small, inexpensive 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 tricks on how to start saving right now.
1. Use a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat typically saves between 12% to 23% on an energy bill, and it’s also a very good tool to reduce carbon emissions from a household. How do they do it? Smart thermostats go beyond just programming the time of day for the 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. Hire a Professional to Perform a Heating and Cooling System Tune-Up
Before the summer heat begins, another eco-friendly move is to schedule an air-conditioning system tune-up. This will help homeowners avoid major repairs during the busy season for HVAC technicians and a system that performs optimally minimizes reliance on fossil fuel energy sources.
A routine maintenance appointment 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 switching 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,” 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
Putting insulation in a home is an earth-friendly tip that could help save up to 20% on a utility bill. In many households, air gets out through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has difficulty maintaining a consistent temperature, it may be time to check attic insulation. Cold floors may 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 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 cue to green up these areas of the house by making some simple repairs. Swapping out old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two economical tasks that are relatively easy to tackle, said Lange, and will lessen the burden on HVAC systems and the electrical grid too.
5. Think About Developing an Energy Zoning System
To create a comfort zoning system for a home, a certified HVAC specialist identifies locations 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 harmonizing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems commonly use numerous thermostats and adjustments to the ductwork. When coupled with a smart thermostat, they can substantially 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. Use Energy-Efficient Light bulbs
If a homeowner’s spending plan doesn't make it possible for major upgrades, replacing standard incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs is a low-cost, 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. Use Solar Energy
With up to 30% in federal tax credits available to reduce 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 yield an average savings of about $60,000 and greatly reduce a homeowner’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 tips to make a home more energy efficient, visit ServiceExperts.com.