With the celebration of Earth Day a few weeks ago and spring cleaning on the minds of countless homeowners, it’s an ideal time to make homes more earth-friendly and energy efficient. In fact, with only a few small, affordable changes, homeowners could be on their way to saving 20% or more on monthly energy bills. Here, the home-efficiency specialists from Service Experts share techniques on how to start saving today.
1. Purchase a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat typically saves between 12% to 23% on an energy bill, and it’s also a very good tool to lower carbon emissions from a home. How is that possible? Smart thermostats provide more functions than only programming the time of day for your HVAC system to turn on or off. Several smart thermostats are intuitive and can recognize changes in consumption patterns and home activity. They can also be programmed remotely, 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,” 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 reach out to an Expert for an air-conditioning system tune-up. Routine maintenance will help homeowners avoid large and costly repairs during the busy season for HVAC technicians 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,” 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.”
3. Add Insulation
Adding insulation to a home is an earth-friendly tip that could help save up to 20% on an electricity bill. In many homes, air leaks out through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has difficulty holding a consistent temperature, it may be time to examine the building'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 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 areas of the home prone to leaks and heat loss or gain (in summer, no one wants hot air seeping in). Let Earth Day be a signal to green up these areas of the house by doing some quick repairs. Upgrading old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two inexpensive tasks that are reasonably easy to tackle, said Lange, and will reduce the strain on HVAC systems and the electrical grid too.
5. Think About Developing 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 harmonizing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems often involve multiple thermostats and adjustments to the ductwork. When joined 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. Buy Energy-Efficient Light bulbs
If a homeowner’s finances don't make it possible for major upgrades, replacing regular 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. 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 generate 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.
To learn more about tips to make a home more energy efficient, visit ServiceExperts.com.