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 the perfect time to make homes more earth-friendly and energy efficient. The truth is, with only a few small, economical changes, homeowners could be on their way to saving 20% or more on monthly energy costs. Here, the home-efficiency pros from share techniques on how to start saving 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 cut down on carbon emissions from a residence. How is that possible? Smart thermostats go beyond just programming the time of day for your HVAC system to turn on or off. A number of smart thermostats are intuitive and can detect changes in consumption 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,” stated Service Experts’ Lisa Lange. “It’s a low-cost way to improve energy efficiency in your home immediately.”

2. Get a Heating and Cooling System Tune-up

Before the summer heat arrives, another eco-friendly move is to schedule routine servicing and inspection of 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 routine servicing involves cleaning all of the system’s major 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 outdoor condenser should also be cleaned and examined.

“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 an electricity bill. In many homes, air escapes through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has trouble 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 sufficient. All of these worries also lead to additional 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. Make Sure the House 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 muggy air seeping in). Let Earth Day be a reminder to green up these areas of the house by doing some easy repairs. Upgrading old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two low-cost tasks that are fairly 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 create 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 need. The HVAC pro can then design a system that correctly distributes air throughout the home balancing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems usually 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 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. Buy 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 huge impact on the environment. Most 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 up to 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 homeowner’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 how to make a home more energy efficient, visit Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today.