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 an ideal 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 costs. Here, the home-efficiency pros from share tricks on how to start saving today.
1. Purchase a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat normally saves between 12% to 23% on an electricity bill, and it’s also a great tool to reduce carbon emissions from a household. How do they do it? Smart thermostats go beyond only programming the time of day for your HVAC system to turn on or off. Several smart thermostats are intuitive and can identify changes in power use patterns and home activity. They can also be programmed remotely, and alert homeowners about changes that may affect 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 hits, another eco-friendly move is to set up routine maintenance for your air-conditioning system. Routine maintenance 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 servicing involves cleaning all of the system’s major 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 outdoor condenser should also be cleaned and examined.
“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.”
3. Add Insulation
Adding insulation to a home is an earth-friendly tip that could help save up to 20% on a power bill. In many residences, air escapes through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has trouble maintaining a consistent temperature, it may be time to check attic insulation. Cold floors might also be a sign that basement insulation isn’t at the level you really need. All of these worries also lead to additional 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. Ensure Your Home Is Airtight
Windows, ductwork, light sockets and weather stripping around doors are all places in the home subject to leaks and heat loss or gain (in summer, no one wants hot air seeping in). Let Earth Day be a signal to green up these areas of the house by making some easy repairs. Upgrading old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two inexpensive tasks that are relatively easy to tackle, said Lange, and will reduce the strain on HVAC systems and the electrical grid too.
5. Consider An Energy Zoning System
To create a comfort zoning system for a home, a certified HVAC Expert identifies locations in a house based on its layout, sun exposures and the amount of energy demand different areas require. The HVAC pro can then design a system that properly distributes air throughout the home weighing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems often involve multiple thermostats and adjustments to the ductwork. When coupled with a smart thermostat, they can dramatically 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 make it possible 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. Many LEDs will last up to seven years and use about 90% less power than traditional bulbs.
7. Consider Solar Energy
With some 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 generate 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 how to make a home more energy efficient, visit Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today.
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