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 many homeowners, it’s the perfect time to make homes more earth-friendly and energy efficient. In fact, with only a few small, economical changes, homeowners could be on their way to saving 20% or more on monthly energy expenses. Here, the home-efficiency pros from share techniques on how to start saving today.

1. Use a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat usually saves between 12% to 23% on an electricity bill, and it’s also a remarkable tool to cut down on carbon emissions from a household. How does this happen? Smart thermostats go beyond only programming the time of day for your HVAC system to turn on or off. Some smart thermostats are intuitive and can identify changes in consumption patterns and home activity. They can also be programmed while you are away via an app, and notify homeowners about changes that may impact 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. Hire a Professional to Perform a Heating and Cooling System Tune-up

Before the summer heat starts, another eco-friendly move is to reach out to an Expert for routine maintenance for your air-conditioning system. This will help homeowners avoid major repairs during the busy season for HVAC professionals and a system that performs optimally minimizes reliance on fossil fuel energy sources.

A tune-up involves cleaning all of the system’s important components, in addition to 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,” 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

Installing 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 keeping a consistent temperature, it may be time to check attic insulation. Cold floors could also be a sign that basement insulation isn’t at the level you really need. All of these concerns 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. Ensure Your Home Is Airtight

Windows, ductwork, light sockets and weather stripping around doors are all places 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 reminder to green up these areas of the house by making some easy repairs. Replacing old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two economical tasks that are relatively easy to tackle, said Lange, and will reduce 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 formulate 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 precisely distributes air throughout the home harmonizing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems often involve several 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 finances don’t permit for major upgrades, replacing standard incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs is an inexpensive eco-friendly decision with a big impact on the environment. Many 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. Use Solar Energy

With some 30% in federal tax credits available to bring down 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 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 Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today.