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 a lot of homeowners, it’s an ideal time to make homes more earth-friendly and energy efficient. In fact, 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 pros from share tricks on how to start saving right now.

1. Use a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat normally saves between 12% to 23% on an electricity bill, and it’s also a very good tool to lower carbon emissions from a household. How is that possible? Smart thermostats do more than only programming the time of day for your HVAC system to turn on or off. Some smart thermostats are intuitive and can detect changes in power use 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 cause a major increase to their energy bill.

“This technology saves you money and also makes life easier,” said 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 an air-conditioning system tune-up. This 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 tune-up involves cleaning all of the system’s key components, plus 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 examined.

“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

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 escapes through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has difficulty maintaining 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 satisfactory. 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. Make Sure Your Residence Is Airtight

Windows, ductwork, light sockets and weather stripping around doors are all places in the home subject 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 embarking on some quick repairs. Replacing old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two inexpensive tasks that are relatively easy to tackle, said Lange, and will lessen the burden 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 professional identifies zones 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 in the home weighing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems usually use numerous thermostats and adjustments to the ductwork. When paired with a smart thermostat, they can dramatically 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 finances don’t make it possible for major upgrades, replacing standard incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs is an affordable eco-friendly decision with a big impact on the environment. The majority of LEDs will last up to seven years and use about 90% less energy 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 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 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 additional information about ways to make a home more energy efficient, visit Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today.