With the celebration of Earth Day a few weeks ago 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, economical changes, homeowners could be on their way to saving 20% or more on monthly energy bills. Here, the home-efficiency pros from Service Experts share tricks on how to start saving right now.
1. Purchase a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat normally saves between 12% to 23% on an electricity bill, and it’s also a remarkable tool to cut down on carbon emissions from a household. How is that possible? Smart thermostats go beyond just programming the time of day for the 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 impact 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 starts, 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 large and costly 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 major components, plus testing and making adjustments to the unit’s operating system. In addition to checking refrigerant levels and changing out air filters, the condenser located outside the house 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
Installing more insulation in a home is an earth-friendly tip that could help save up to 20% on a power bill. In many homes, air gets out 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 at the level you really need it to be. All of these concerns 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 Your Residence Is Airtight
Windows, ductwork, light sockets and weather stripping around doors are all areas of the home prone to leaks and heat loss or gain (in summer, no one wants hot 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 fairly easy to tackle, said Lange, and will lessen the strain on HVAC systems and the electrical grid too.
5. Consider an Energy Zoning System
To formulate 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 precisely distributes air through the home weighing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems usually utilize several 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. Install Energy-Efficient Light bulbs
If a homeowner’s finances don't permit for major upgrades, replacing standard incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs is an inexpensive, eco-friendly decision with a large impact on the environment. The majority of LEDs will last up to seven years and use about 90% less electricity than traditional bulbs.
7. Go Solar
With as much as 30% in federal tax credits available to bring down 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 yield 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 ways to make a home more energy efficient, visit ServiceExperts.com.