With the celebration of Earth Day recently and spring cleaning on the minds of many homeowners, it’s a great time to make homes more earth-friendly and energy efficient. In fact, 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 Service Experts share tips on how to start saving right now.
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 reduce carbon emissions from a household. How does this happen? Smart thermostats do more than only programming the time of day for the heating or cooling system to turn on or off. A number of smart thermostats are intuitive and can detect changes in energy usage patterns and home activity. They can also be programmed while you are away via an app, and notify homeowners about changes that may impact 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. 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 significant 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 key components, in addition to 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,” 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
Putting insulation in a home is an eco-friendly tip that could help save up to 20% on a power bill. In many households, air leaks out through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has problems maintaining a consistent temperature, it may be time to inspect your home's attic insulation. Cold floors might 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. Make Sure the House 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 hot air seeping in). Let Earth Day be a reminder to green up these areas of the house by embarking on some quick repairs. Upgrading old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two inexpensive tasks that are relatively easy to tackle, said Lange, and will reduce the burden on HVAC systems and the electrical grid too.
5. Consider 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 need. The HVAC pro can then design a system that precisely distributes air throughout the home weighing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems usually utilize 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 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. Install Energy-Efficient Light bulbs
If a homeowner’s finances don't allow for major upgrades, replacing standard incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs is an affordable, 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. Go Solar
With some 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 a household'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 tips to make a home more energy efficient, visit ServiceExperts.com.