With the celebration of Earth Day recently and spring cleaning on the minds of many homeowners, it’s a great time to make homes more earth-friendly and energy efficient. The fact is, with only a few small, affordable changes, homeowners could be on their way to saving 20% or more on monthly energy costs. Here, the home-efficiency gurus from Service Experts share techniques on how to start saving now.
1. Use a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat normally saves between 12% to 23% on a power bill, and it’s also a remarkable tool to lower carbon emissions from a residence. How do they do it? Smart thermostats go beyond only programming the time of day for the heating or cooling system to turn on or off. A number of smart thermostats are intuitive and can detect changes in consumption patterns and home activity. They can also be programmed while you are away via an app, and alert homeowners about changes that may cause a major increase to 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 arrives, another eco-friendly move is to reach out to an Expert for routine maintenance for your air-conditioning system. Routine maintenance will help homeowners avoid large and costly repairs during the busy season for HVAC technicians and a system that performs optimally minimizes reliance on fossil fuel energy sources.
A tune-up 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 changing out air filters, the condenser located outside the house 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
Installing more insulation in a home is an earth-friendly tip that could help save up to 20% on a power bill. In many residences, 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 might also be a sign that basement insulation isn’t sufficient. All of these worries 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 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 easy repairs. Swapping out old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two inexpensive tasks that are reasonably easy to tackle, said Lange, and will reduce the burden on HVAC systems and the electrical grid too.
5. Use an Energy Zoning System
To develop a comfort zoning system for a home, a certified HVAC Expert 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 in the home balancing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems often use numerous thermostats and adjustments to the ductwork. When joined with a smart thermostat, they can drastically 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 huge impact on the environment. Many LEDs will last up to seven years and use about 90% less power than traditional bulbs.
7. Consider 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 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.
For additional information about ways to make a home more energy efficient, visit ServiceExperts.com.