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

With the celebration of Earth Day recently and spring cleaning on the minds of a lot of homeowners, it’s an ideal time to make homes more earth-friendly and energy efficient. In fact, with only a few small, affordable changes, homeowners could be on their way to saving 20% or more on monthly energy expenses. Here, the home-efficiency professionals from share tricks on how to start saving now.

1. Purchase 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 cut down on carbon emissions from a residence. How is that possible? Smart thermostats do more than just programming the time of day for your HVAC system to turn on or off. A number of 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 notify 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. Get a Heating and Cooling System Tune-up

Before the summer heat starts, another eco-friendly move is to schedule routine maintenance for your air-conditioning system. Routine maintenance 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 servicing 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 replacing clogged or dirty 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 earth-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 difficulty maintaining a consistent temperature, it may be time to examine the building’s attic insulation. Cold floors may also be a sign that basement insulation isn’t sufficient. All of these worries also lead to higher 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 the House 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 reminder to green up these areas of the house by doing some simple repairs. Swapping out old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two low-cost tasks that are reasonably easy to tackle, said Lange, and will lessen the strain 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 specialist 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 precisely distributes air through the home harmonizing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems often use numerous thermostats and adjustments to the ductwork. When paired 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. Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

If a homeowner’s spending plan doesn’t allow for major upgrades, replacing standard incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs is an inexpensive eco-friendly decision with a large impact on the environment. The majority of LEDs will last up to seven years and use about 90% less power than traditional bulbs.

Power saving concept. Asia man changing compact-fluorescent (CFL) bulbs with new LED light bulb.

7. Consider Solar Energy

With as much as 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 tips to make a home more energy efficient, visit Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today.