With the celebration of Earth Day recently 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 expenses. Here, the home-efficiency professionals 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 electricity bill, and it’s also a great tool to lower carbon emissions from a residence. How is that possible? Smart thermostats go beyond just programming the time of day for the heating or cooling system to turn on or off. Some smart thermostats are intuitive and can identify changes in power use patterns and home activity. They can also be programmed while you are away via an app, 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,” 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 hits, another eco-friendly move is to reach out to an Expert for routine servicing and inspection of your air-conditioning system. It 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 maintenance appointment involves cleaning all of the system’s important components, plus testing and making adjustments to the unit’s operating system. In addition to checking refrigerant levels and switching out air filters, the condenser located outdoors should also be cleaned and examined.
“During your tune-up, it’s a great time to tap the expertise of an HVAC pro,” noted 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 eco-friendly tip that could help save up to 20% on a power bill. In many households, air gets out through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has difficulty maintaining a consistent temperature, it may be time to check attic insulation. Cold floors could also be a sign that basement insulation isn’t satisfactory. All of these worries 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 locations in the home prone to leaks and heat loss or gain (in summer, no one wants steamy 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 fairly easy to tackle, said Lange, and will reduce the strain on HVAC systems and the electrical grid too.
5. Use 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 have. The HVAC pro can then design a system that precisely distributes air throughout the home harmonizing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems commonly use numerous 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 spending plan doesn't allow for major upgrades, replacing standard 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 some 30% in federal tax credits available to bring down the cost 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 a household'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.
To find out more about how to make a home more energy efficient, visit ServiceExperts.com.