With the celebration of Earth Day a short time ago and spring cleaning on the minds of countless 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 specialists from Service Experts share tricks on how to start saving now.
1. Purchase a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat normally saves between 12% to 23% on a power bill, and it’s also a great tool to reduce carbon emissions from a household. How does this happen? Smart thermostats provide more functions than just programming the time of day for your HVAC 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 from another location, and alert 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. Schedule a Heating and Cooling System Tune-Up
Before the summer heat begins, 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 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 key components, in addition to testing and making adjustments to the unit’s operating system. In addition to checking refrigerant levels and changing out air filters, the condenser located outdoors 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.”
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 households, air escapes through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has difficulty keeping a consistent temperature, it may be time to check attic insulation. Cold floors may also be a sign that basement insulation isn’t sufficient. All of these worries also lead to increased 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. Make Sure the House Is Airtight
Windows, ductwork, light sockets and weather stripping around doors are all areas of the home subject to leaks and heat loss or gain (in summer, no one wants steamy air seeping in). Let Earth Day be a signal to green up these areas of the house by making some easy repairs. Swapping out old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two economical tasks that are reasonably easy to tackle, said Lange, and will lower the load on HVAC systems and the electrical grid too.
5. Consider an Energy Zoning System
To develop a comfort zoning system for a home, a certified HVAC specialist 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 correctly distributes air through the home weighing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems often 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 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 budget doesn’t permit 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. Use Solar Energy
With as much as 30% in federal tax credits available to lower the expense 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 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.