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

With the celebration of Earth Day a few weeks ago 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. The fact 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 professionals from share techniques on how to start saving right now.

1. Purchase a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat usually saves between 12% to 23% on a power bill, and it’s also a very good tool to cut down on carbon emissions from a home. How does this happen? Smart thermostats provide more functions than simply programming the time of day for the system to turn on or off. Some 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 notify 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 servicing and inspection of your air-conditioning system. Routine maintenance 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 routine servicing involves cleaning all of the system’s important 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,” said 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

Putting insulation in a home is an eco-friendly tip that could help save up to 20% on a power bill. In many households, air escapes through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has difficulty holding a consistent temperature, it may be time to inspect your home’s attic insulation. Cold floors may also be a sign that basement insulation isn’t sufficient. All of these concerns also lead to additional 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. Ensure Your Home Is Airtight

Windows, ductwork, light sockets and weather stripping around doors are all areas of the home susceptible to leaks and heat loss or gain (in summer, no one wants muggy air seeping in). Let Earth Day be a reminder to green up these areas of the house by making some easy repairs. Swapping out old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two economical tasks that are relatively easy to tackle, said Lange, and will reduce the load 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. Think About Developing An Energy Zoning System

To formulate 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 have. The HVAC pro can then design a system that correctly distributes air throughout the home balancing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems often utilize several thermostats and adjustments to the ductwork. When joined with a smart thermostat, they can substantially 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. Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

If a homeowner’s spending plan doesn’t make it possible for major upgrades, replacing traditional 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 electricity than traditional bulbs.

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

7. Use Solar Energy

With up to 30% in federal tax credits available to lower 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 your home’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 more information about tips to make a home more energy efficient, visit Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today.