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 many homeowners, it’s the perfect 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 expenses. Here, the home-efficiency specialists from share tips on how to start saving right now.

1. Install a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat normally saves between 12% to 23% on a power bill, and it’s also a great tool to lower carbon emissions from a household. How is that possible? Smart thermostats go beyond only programming the time of day for the heating or cooling system to turn on or off. Some smart thermostats are intuitive and can recognize 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,” 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 arrives, another eco-friendly move is to reach out to an Expert for an air-conditioning system tune-up. It 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 tune-up involves cleaning all of the system’s key 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,” said 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

Adding insulation to a home is an earth-friendly tip that could help save up to 20% on an energy bill. In many households, air leaks out through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has difficulty keeping a consistent temperature, it may be time to examine the building’s attic insulation. Cold floors could also be a sign that basement insulation isn’t sufficient. All of these concerns 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 the House Is Airtight

Windows, ductwork, light sockets and weather stripping around doors are all areas of the home susceptible 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 quick repairs. Swapping out old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two inexpensive tasks that are reasonably easy to tackle, said Lange, and will lower the load 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 Expert 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 harmonizing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems commonly utilize numerous 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 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. Buy Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

If a homeowner’s finances don’t make it possible for major upgrades, replacing standard 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 energy than traditional bulbs.

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

7. Go Solar

With up to 30% in federal tax credits available to lower 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 yield an average savings of about $60,000 and greatly reduce a household’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.

For additional information about tips to make a home more energy efficient, visit Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today.