Though it may not feel like it in some parts of the United States, the first day of spring officially start on Wednesday, March 20 at 5:58 p.m. EDT. The arrival of spring tends to bring on house cleaning and home improvement projects. Here at Emilygrene Corp., we are already helping our residential clients prepare for the spring as they settle into new green homes. Here are a few tips that we are sharing with them and are incorporating into our own spring planning.
1. Replace old light bulbs with energy efficient LED light bulbs.
We recently talked about the fate of the incandescent light bulb and the push for more energy efficient light bulbs. Newer LED light bulbs and smart home technologies have made it easier than ever to save money on your monthly utility bill. As you are dusting off your lamps, take a moment to switch out any older incandescent light bulbs with new LED ones. While you may pay a little more for the LED light bulbs this year, the savings on your monthly bill and the length of time that the bulb will last will help balance out your initial investment. If a home renovation project is in your spring plans, replace your old light fixtures with new energy efficient ones, like Lutron light fixtures, which gives you greater control over the lighting in your home.
2. Install new windows and splurge on motorized shades.
If you are in an older home, replacing old windows should be on your priority list of things to upgrade. A large amount of energy is lost in a home through leaky doors and windows. New energy efficient windows can help keep the hot air out and the cool air in, reducing the amount of work your HVAC unit has to do. If your home improvement budget has a little room, we recommend that you splurge on motorized shades. These let you rise and lower the shades for hard-to-reach windows, allowing you to take advantage of daylight or block out a hot sun.
3. Use a smart thermostat to keep your house consistently cool.
Installing automation and controls for HVAC systems is one of the smart solutions we recommend for our corporate clients and it is a smart idea for homeowners too. Smart thermostats (think Nest) help regulate your homes temperature better than most standard thermostats. Rather than setting one temperature for the day or jumping up and down to adjust the air conditioner, smart thermostats allow you to manage heat/air schedules, make adjustments, monitor your energy use, and more. If you already have a programmable thermostat, one of the advantages you may find with the smart thermostat is its easy-to-use format.
4. Schedule an HVAC maintenance check now.
According to Energy Star, your HVAC system accounts for almost half of your utility bill each month. With so much money being spent each month, we recommend that you check your system before temperatures begin to rise. As you are doing your deep spring clean, make sure that changing out your air filters is on your to-do list. Also, schedule a maintenance visit with a local HVAC company now before their schedule fills up with summer appointments. This will help you catch potential issues with your unit during the spring, rather than on a blistering hot summer day. If it has been a while, ask them to check your ductwork for any leaks, to ensure that your cool air is making it into the house rather than leaking out of the ductwork underneath it.
Bonus Tip: Looking for a New House? Go green!
May through July tends to be the peak season for real estate sales. If you are in the market for a new house, make it a green one. For new home construction, choose a home builder that uses green practices and offers energy efficient and sustainable options in your home. If you are purchasing an older home, leave some room in your budget for upgrades, such as energy-efficient windows. This will help you keep more money in your pocket each month from utility bill savings.
Looking for More Ways to Go Green This Spring?
While we typically work with homeowners through partnerships with residential home builders, we do offer some residential services for homes in the greater Los Angeles area. Our services include energy efficient and clean energy solutions, energy efficient HVAC systems installation, and complete setup of smart home technologies, including lighting, shades, home theater products, and security systems. Contact us for more information about how to make your home more green.