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 the perfect time to make homes more earth-friendly and energy efficient. The fact is, 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 pros from share techniques on how to start saving right now.

1. Install a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat typically saves between 12% to 23% on an electricity bill, and it’s also a remarkable tool to cut down on carbon emissions from a residence. How does this happen? Smart thermostats go beyond only 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 power use 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 affect their energy bill.

“This technology saves you money and also makes life easier,” explained 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 hits, another eco-friendly move is to set up routine servicing and inspection of your air-conditioning system. This will help homeowners avoid costly 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 important components, as well as testing and making adjustments to the unit’s operating system. In addition to checking refrigerant levels and switching 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.”

HVAC techs working outside

3. Add Insulation

Adding insulation to a home is a green tip that could help save up to 20% on a power bill. In many homes, air escapes through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has trouble holding 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 problems 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 susceptible to leaks and heat loss or gain (in summer, no one wants steamy air seeping in). Let Earth Day be a cue to green up these areas of the house by embarking on some simple repairs. Upgrading old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two economical tasks that are relatively easy to tackle, said Lange, and will lower the load 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 areas 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 correctly distributes air throughout the home harmonizing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems commonly involve numerous thermostats and adjustments to the ductwork. When paired with a smart thermostat, they can substantially improve comfort, save customers more than 30% on their energy bill and noticeably 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. Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

If a homeowner’s budget doesn’t make it possible for major upgrades, replacing regular incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs is an affordable eco-friendly decision with a big impact on the environment. Most LEDs will last up to seven years and use about 90% less power than traditional bulbs.

Power saving concept. Asia man changing compact-fluorescent (CFL) bulbs with new LED light bulb.

7. Go Solar

With as much as 30% in federal tax credits available to bring down 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 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 more information about how to make a home more energy efficient, visit Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today.