7 Tips for a More Earth-Friendly and Energy-Efficient Home
With the celebration of Earth Day recently and spring cleaning on the minds of many homeowners, it’s an ideal time to make homes more earth-friendly and energy efficient. In fact, with only a few small, inexpensive changes, homeowners could be on their way to saving 20% or more on monthly energy expenses. Here, the home-efficiency pros from share techniques on how to start saving now.
1. Use a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat typically saves between 12% to 23% on an energy bill, and it’s also a great tool to reduce carbon emissions from a residence. How do they do it? Smart thermostats provide more functions than just programming the time of day for the system to turn on or off. Several smart thermostats are intuitive and can recognize changes in energy usage 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,” stated 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 arrives, another eco-friendly move is to schedule routine maintenance for your air-conditioning system. It 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 maintenance appointment involves cleaning all of the system’s important components, as well as testing and making adjustments to the unit’s operating system. In addition to checking refrigerant levels and switching out air filters, the condenser located outside the house should also be cleaned and inspected.
“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
Installing insulation in a home is an earth-friendly tip that could help save up to 20% on a utility bill. In many residences, air gets out 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 could also be a sign that basement insulation isn’t sufficient. All of these problems also lead to higher 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 hot air seeping in). Let Earth Day be a reminder to green up these areas of the house by making some simple repairs. Swapping out old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two low-cost tasks that are relatively easy to tackle, said Lange, and will lessen the load on HVAC systems and the electrical grid too.
5. Use An Energy Zoning System
To develop 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 need. The HVAC pro can then design a system that precisely distributes air throughout the home balancing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems commonly use several 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 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 allow for major upgrades, replacing traditional incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs is a low-cost eco-friendly decision with a large impact on the environment. Many LEDs will last up to seven years and use about 90% less energy than traditional bulbs.
7. Use Solar Energy
With as much as 30% in federal tax credits available to reduce 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 homeowner’s overall 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 more information about tips to make a home more energy efficient, visit Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today.
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