With the celebration of Earth Day a short time ago 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, inexpensive changes, homeowners could be on their way to saving 20% or more on monthly energy costs. Here, the home-efficiency pros from Service Experts share techniques on how to start saving right now.
1. Use a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat typically saves between 12% to 23% on a power bill, and it’s also a remarkable tool to lower carbon emissions from a household. How does this happen? Smart thermostats provide more functions than just programming the time of day for your HVAC system to turn on or off. A number of smart thermostats are intuitive and can recognize changes in consumption patterns and home activity. They can also be programmed while you are away via an app, 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,” 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 arrives, another eco-friendly move is to set up routine maintenance for your air-conditioning system. This will help homeowners avoid significant repairs during the busy season for HVAC service crews and a system that performs optimally minimizes reliance on fossil fuel energy sources.
A routine servicing 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 changing out 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.”
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 homes, air leaks out through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has difficulty keeping 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. Ensure Your Home Is Airtight
Windows, ductwork, light sockets and weather stripping around doors are all locations in the home prone 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 quick repairs. Swapping out old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two economical tasks that are reasonably easy to tackle, said Lange, and will lower the load 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 professional identifies locations 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 correctly distributes air in the home weighing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems commonly use multiple thermostats and adjustments to the ductwork. When paired with a smart thermostat, they can drastically 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. Buy Energy-Efficient Light bulbs
If a homeowner’s budget doesn’t permit 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. The majority of LEDs will last up to seven years and use about 90% less electricity than traditional bulbs.
7. Go Solar
With up to 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 yield 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.
To find out more about tips to make a home more energy efficient, visit ServiceExperts.com.