With the celebration of Earth Day recently and spring cleaning on the minds of countless homeowners, it’s an ideal time to make homes more earth-friendly and energy efficient. The truth is, with only a few small, economical 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 now.
1. Use a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat typically saves between 12% to 23% on a power bill, and it’s also a remarkable tool to lower carbon emissions from a home. How does this happen? Smart thermostats do more than only 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 from another location, and can be programmed to send a notification to homeowners about changes that may affect 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. Schedule a Heating and Cooling System Tune-Up
Before the summer heat hits, another eco-friendly move is to schedule routine servicing and inspection of your air-conditioning system. It 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, in addition to 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,” 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 power bill. In many homes, air gets out through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has problems holding a consistent temperature, it may be time to inspect your home's attic insulation. Cold floors could also be a sign that basement insulation isn’t sufficient. All of these worries also lead to higher 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 the House Is Airtight
Windows, ductwork, light sockets and weather stripping around doors are all areas of the home subject to leaks and heat loss or gain (in summer, no one wants muggy air seeping in). Let Earth Day be a cue to green up these areas of the house by making some quick repairs. Upgrading old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two economical tasks that are relatively easy to tackle, said Lange, and will lessen 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 locations in a house based on its layout, sun exposures and the amount of energy demand different areas need. The HVAC pro can then design a system that properly distributes air throughout the home weighing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems commonly use numerous 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 greatly 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 budget doesn’t make it possible for major upgrades, replacing standard incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs is an affordable, eco-friendly decision with a large 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 some 30% in federal tax credits available to lower 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 generate an average savings of about $60,000 and greatly reduce a homeowner’s total 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 tips to make a home more energy efficient, visit ServiceExperts.com.