7 Tips for a More Earth-Friendly and Energy-Efficient Home

With the celebration of Earth Day a few weeks ago and spring cleaning on the minds of a lot of homeowners, it’s an ideal time to make homes more earth-friendly and energy efficient. The fact is, with only a few small, inexpensive changes, homeowners could be on their way to saving 20% or more on monthly energy bills. Here, the home-efficiency specialists from share tricks on how to start saving today.

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 cut down on carbon emissions from a household. How is that possible? Smart thermostats do more than only programming the time of day for your HVAC system to turn on or off. Several smart thermostats are intuitive and can detect changes in consumption patterns and home activity. They can also be programmed from another location, and can be programmed to send a notification to 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 starts, another eco-friendly move is to schedule routine maintenance for your air-conditioning system. Routine maintenance will help homeowners avoid significant repairs during the busy season for HVAC pros 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 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.”

HVAC techs working outside

3. Add Insulation

Installing insulation in a home is an eco-friendly tip that could help save up to 20% on a utility bill. In many households, air leaks out through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has problems holding a consistent temperature, it may be time to check attic insulation. Cold floors might also be a sign that basement insulation isn’t sufficient. All of these problems also lead to increased energy consumption, which leads to elevated 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 muggy air seeping in). Let Earth Day be a cue to green up these areas of the house by embarking on some simple repairs. Swapping out old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two inexpensive tasks that are fairly easy to tackle, said Lange, and will lower the strain 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. Think About Developing An Energy Zoning System

To create a comfort zoning system for a home, a certified HVAC specialist 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 through the home weighing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems often involve numerous thermostats and adjustments to the ductwork. When coupled with a smart thermostat, they can substantially 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. Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

If a homeowner’s budget doesn’t permit for major upgrades, replacing traditional 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.

Power saving concept. Asia man changing compact-fluorescent (CFL) bulbs with new LED light bulb.

7. Use Solar Energy

With up to 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 produce 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 how to make a home more energy efficient, visit Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today.

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