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 countless homeowners, it’s an ideal time to make homes more earth-friendly and energy efficient. The truth is, with only a few small, inexpensive changes, homeowners could be on their way to saving 20% or more on monthly energy costs. Here, the home-efficiency gurus from share tricks on how to start saving right now.

1. Install a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat typically saves between 12% to 23% on an energy bill, and it’s also a great tool to cut down on carbon emissions from a home. How is that possible? Smart thermostats provide more functions 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 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,” explained 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 costly repairs during the busy season for HVAC service crews 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, as well as testing and making adjustments to the unit’s operating system. In addition to checking refrigerant levels and changing out air filters, the outdoor condenser should also be cleaned and checked.

“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.”

HVAC techs working outside

3. Add Insulation

Putting insulation in a home is an earth-friendly tip that could help save up to 20% on a power bill. In many residences, air gets 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 could also be a sign that basement insulation isn’t satisfactory. All of these problems also lead to increased 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 places 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 cue to green up these areas of the house by doing some simple repairs. Replacing old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two low-cost tasks that are relatively easy to tackle, said Lange, and will lessen the burden 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 develop 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 in the home weighing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems often use numerous 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 seriously 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 finances don’t allow 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. Many LEDs will last up to seven years and use about 90% less electricity 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 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 ways to make a home more energy efficient, visit Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today.