With the celebration of Earth Day a few weeks ago and spring cleaning on the minds of many homeowners, it’s the perfect 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 expenses. Here, the home-efficiency pros from Service Experts share tricks on how to start saving now.
1. Install a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat normally saves between 12% to 23% on a power bill, and it’s also a great tool to cut down on carbon emissions from a residence. How is that possible? Smart thermostats go beyond simply programming the time of day for your HVAC system to turn on or off. Several smart thermostats are intuitive and can detect changes in power use patterns and home activity. They can also be programmed remotely, and notify homeowners about changes that may affect 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. Schedule a Heating and Cooling System Tune-Up
Before the summer heat begins, another eco-friendly move is to schedule routine maintenance for 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 tune-up involves cleaning all of the system’s major 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 outdoor condenser 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
Adding insulation to a home is an eco-friendly tip that could help save up to 20% on a power bill. In many households, air gets out through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has problems maintaining a consistent temperature, it may be time to examine the building's attic insulation. Cold floors might also be a sign that basement insulation isn’t satisfactory. All of these worries also lead to increased energy consumption, which leads to more 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 susceptible to leaks and heat loss or gain (in summer, no one wants steamy air seeping in). Let Earth Day be a reminder to green up these areas of the house by doing some simple repairs. Upgrading old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two economical tasks that are reasonably easy to tackle, said Lange, and will lower the burden on HVAC systems and the electrical grid too.
5. Consider an Energy Zoning System
To develop 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 usually utilize numerous thermostats and adjustments to the ductwork. When coupled with a smart thermostat, they can drastically 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. Install Energy-Efficient Light bulbs
If a homeowner’s budget doesn’t permit for major upgrades, replacing standard incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs is a low-cost, 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. Go Solar
With as much as 30% in federal tax credits available to reduce 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 produce an average savings of about $60,000 and greatly reduce a household'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.
For more information about tips to make a home more energy efficient, visit ServiceExperts.com.