Top 10 Green Tips to Save Money and the Planet

Happy Earth Day!

Although every day should be Earth Day, we are celebrating today by recognizing areas in the home for energy-efficient improvements. Since everybody is leading full, busy lives, we wanted to provide practical, actionable advice for creating an energy-efficient home. Don’t delay, go green today!

Top 10 Green Tips for the Home

Top 10 Green Tips to Save Money and the Planet

  1. Schedule your annual HVAC tune-up to ensure you are using the minimum amount of energy to effectively heat and cool your home.
  2. Check your air filters every month. Write the date on the filter itself so you know when you last replaced it. We also recommend setting monthly reminders so you never forget. Replacing dirty air filters will significantly reduce the workload on your HVAC system and improve the quality of your indoor air. It’s a win-win!
  3. Use a programmable thermostat for maximum savings. We recommend setting the thermostat to 78°F while at home and 80°F or higher when away from home. According to energy.gov, raising the thermostat setting in the summer or lowering it in the winter by just 1°F for a period of 8 hours will save you 1% on your energy bill. Those savings add up!
  4. Check your home for air leaks and replace any old weatherstripping and caulking. Don’t forget to seal your air ducts, which lose, on average, about 20% of your home’s conditioned air. You can hold a piece of toilet paper or incense stick around areas where you suspect a leak. Watch this video to learn how to find air leaks and insulate your home:

  • Close drapes and curtains while the sun is out and open some windows at night to take advantage of the cool outside air. Just remember to close them again in the morning! Also, consider purchasing solar screens and insulating drapes for more protection against solar heat gain.
  • Turn down your water heater temperature from the standard 140°F to a more energy-efficient, but still hot enough 120°F. Not only will you save money and energy on water heating costs, but you will also reduce the risk of burns and scalding, especially important in homes with young children. Consider also purchasing water heater insulation blankets for your water heat tank.
  • Cook hot meals at night when the temperatures are lower. Instead of using your oven, consider alternative cooking methods that produce less heat and use less energy like microwaves, toaster ovens, and slow cookers. This is the time to learn about some cooler, plant-based meals that you can enjoy in warmer weather.
  • Make sure your fireplace flue damper is fully closed and sealed unless you have a fire burning. Check the seals around the damper and make any necessary repairs as soon as possible. You don’t want your precious conditioned air escaping out the chimney.
  • Plant trees and shrubs around the perimeter of your home and in front of sun-facing windows to provide energy-saving shade from the sun.
  • Check your water meter for water leaks. The average U.S. home has water leaks that amount to more than 10,000 gallons of wasted water every year. Let’s do our part by fixing those leaks as soon as possible. If you are having trouble detecting or repairing your plumbing leaks, give Larry & Sons a call. We’d be glad to help! Click here to learn how to find and read your water meter for leaks. Click here to learn how to fix a leaking or running toilet.
  • For more Green Tips you can start implementing today to save money and the planet, read our previous posts:

    If you needed any more convincing for taking action this Earth Day, watch Morgan Freeman narrate “What’s Possible,” for the UN Climate Summit:


    For over 55 years, Larry & Sons has been serving your home heating and cooling needs in the great Hagerstown, Maryland area. Contact us for an expert able perform nearly any home service you need. We offer installation, repair, and maintenance of heating, air conditioning, geothermal, solar and indoor air quality systems. We service all makes and models, even if we didn’t install your system to begin with.

    We are also full–service plumbers, offering water heater repair and installation, sewer and drain services and water treatment systems.

    For more information on how to lower your heating bill, give us a call at 301-733-5428. We’d be glad to answer all of your questions.

    To further save and reduce your impact on the environment, we highly recommend signing up for a maintenance plan that ensures 2 annual heating and air conditioning tune-ups, 15 % off all repairs, and much more! Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more useful information and how-to’s.

    Happy Earth Day! It’s Our Turn to Lead!

    Spring Savings: 10 Ways to Save Money & Energy

    Spring has sprung and the weather is definitely warming up. With flowers blooming and the sun out for longer periods, it is the perfect time to go around your home or office and implement some spring saving tips.

    10 Tips & Tricks for Spring Savings

    1. Inspect doors and windows for damage and air leaks. Replace screens and bent frames if necessary. For air leaks smaller than a ¼ inch, use weatherproof caulk. Any gaps or openings larger than a ¼ inch, use expandable foam spray.

    2. Consider purchasing solar screens to block out more of the sun’s rays.

    3. Close your windows during the day and shut the blinds/curtains when the sun is out. Conversely, if the temperature drops at night, consider opening up a few windows to take advantage of nature’s free cooling. Just remember to close them again when you wake up.

    4. If your screens are still functional, but dirty, you can clean them with mild detergent, water, and a soft bristle brush.

    5. Inspect you home for water leaks. You can do this by turning off all water-using appliances and then going to your water meter box to see if the water dial continues to move. The best resource we have found for finding and fixing water leaks is smarthomewaterguide.org. Water meters have a leak detection dial, indicated below:

     Save Money & Energy

    Via horizonutilities

    6. If your water meter indicates a leak, check your toilets, sinks, and outdoor hoses/irrigation for leaks. Learn how to fix a leaking toilet here.

    7. Inspect your basement and crawl spaces for any excessive moisture or mold. Be on the lookout for signs of water and moisture around your home. Mold and mildew causes many health problems and can be very dangerous. If you suspect mold and moisture in your home, call a professional plumber to inspect the situation and recommend solutions. If you suspect an indoor air quality issue, give Larry & Sons a call for your whole-home inspection.

    8. Install a programmable thermostat for maximum savings. You can schedule your HVAC system to turn itself on and off at designated times. Smart thermostats like the Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart and the Nest Learning Thermostat allow you to make thermostat changes from the convenience of your smart phone. Contact Larry & Sons to get a smart thermostat installed today!

    9. Seal you air ducts! Watch this video to learn how. Ironically, don’t use duct tape. Use either mastic sealant or aluminum foil tape.

    If you are in need of duct sealing services, we can help. Larry & Sons has been offering duct sealing services for many years throughout Hagerstown, Frederick, MD, and the surrounding areas. Our technicians are highly trained and we have the most state-of-the-art equipment available.

    10. Schedule you annual air conditioning tune-up! In addition to increased energy efficiency (up to 15%), regular maintenance is usually required to keep your manufacturer’s warranty in effect. In addition to remembering to check and/or change your filter every month, the most important thing a homeowner can do to ensure optimum levels of HVAC efficiency is to schedule annual HVAC maintenance. Call Larry & Sons to schedule your appointment. Sign up for our maintenance plan and you will receive FREE ANNUAL HVAC TUNE-UPS!

    Looking for more ways to save money and energy this spring?

    Spring Savings TipsVia energy.gov

    To learn more about spring savings, schedule a professional home energy audit in Maryland with Larry & Sons  — 301-733-5428.

    We service Hagerstown, Frederick, and the surrounding Maryland areas. We also service parts of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

    Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more useful information and how-to’s.

    5 Easy Ways to Lower Your Heating Bill

    With the winter weather and subfreezing temperatures in your Hagerstown-area, you’ve probably been spending more time indoors, which is reflected in your utility bill every month. Learn how to lower your heating bill.

    Larry & Sons Lower Your Heating Bill

    Larry & Sons Lower Your Heating BillTo help you curb those rising costs, here are 5 easy and effective ways to maximize the efficiency of your heating system and lower your heating bill by a significant amount:

    1. Check and/or change your air filter every 30 days

    With all of our smart phones, calendars, and to-do lists, it should be easy to set a reminder to check your furnace filter every 30 days. Sometimes dirty air filters can block so much air flow that your furnace will struggle to even turn on. Make sure you insert the filter in the right way and follow the manufacturer instructions. Some filters just need to be hosed down for instance, rather than needing to be replaced.

    The other essential maintenance you need to keep your heating system at optimum performance and efficiency is to schedule furnace and air conditioning maintenance every year. Most manufacturer warranties even require this regular maintenance for the warranty to remain valid. This is because HVAC systems, like cars, need regular check-ups and tune-ups to remain effective. Signing up for a maintenance plan ensures that you will receive the care for your heating and cooling systems necessary for warranty eligibility. These plans also offer priority service, huge discounts, and will contact you for service so you don’t have to remember. Your HVAC technician will also make sure that you have a clean air filter before they leave!

    2. Install a “smart” or programmable thermostat

    If you do not have a programmable thermostat, consider keeping your thermostat setting at 68 degrees during the winter and lower while you are away from your home or asleep. You can save up to 1% on your heating bill for every 1 degree you turn down the thermostat (if it remains at that setting for 8 hours or more).

    Look at these reviews for “smart” thermostats that learn your family’s heating and cooling patterns, such as Nest, Hive, Tado, and Honeywell Evohome.

    For more information on thermostats and maintaining an energy efficient home, visit energy.gov.

    3. Open blinds when it is sunny and close them when it’s not

    Take advantage of the natural heat the sun provides to give your heating system some support. You’ll be surprised by how much this makes a difference. Remember to close the at night to prevent heat from escaping through your windows. Also, consider purchasing insulating or “thermal” curtains/blinds as seen on this Bed Bath & Beyond page.

    4. Add insulation

    The more insulation and sealed air leaks that you have, the more your precious conditioned air stays where it is supposed to. The areas of your home that could benefit most from insulation is your attic, basement, crawl spaces, and walls. Insulating your home is no small task. You may want to hire a professional to do it. If, however, you are the DIY type, visit this Family Handyman page for all the information you need for professionally adding attic insulation to your home. From there you can find out more about insulating the other areas in your home.

    The best way that you can discover where in your home you are losing the most energy, schedule a home energy audit with Larry & Sons.

    Our energy audits can help address the following issues:

    • Poor insulation
    • Leaky ductwork
    • Inefficient heating system
    • Drafty areas or cold spots
    • Need for better ventilation
    • Moisture control issues

    If you are interested in a home energy audit in Hagerstown, call Larry & Sons. We can schedule an appointment with you at your earliest convenience.

    5. Seal air leaks

    Remember that caulking can go along way. Tubes typically cost less than $8 and will save you huge amounts on your heating bill. If you want to lower your heating bill on the cheap, a great place to start is weatherstripping your doors and windows and caulking your any gaps near your windows, ceilings, doors, attic, basement, wiring, piping, or other areas where utilities enter or leave your home. Use an incense or smoke stick and hold it up to areas where you suspect an air leak. If the smoke moves, you have an air leak. You can also use a sheet of toilet paper.

    For cracks and gaps smaller than a quarter of an inch, use weatherproof caulk. For gaps greater than a quarter of an inch, use expandable foam spray.

    Also, remember to seal your air ducts with mastic and mesh tape. For professional duct sealing services in the Hagerstown and Frederick, Maryland areas, visit Larry & Sons Duct Sealing page.


    For over 55 years, Larry & Sons has been serving your home heating and cooling needs in the great Hagerstown, Maryland area. Contact us for an expert able perform nearly any home service you need. We offer installation, repair and maintenance of heating, air conditioning, geothermal, solar and indoor air quality systems. We service all makes and models, even if we didn’t install your system to begin with.

    We are also full–service plumbers, offering water heater repair and installation, sewer and drain services and water treatment systems.

    For more information on how to lower your heating bill, give us a call at 301-733-5428. We’d be glad to answer all of your questions.

    With our maintenance plan, we’ll remind you of your annual tune-up, provide 15 % off all repairs, and much more!Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more useful information and how-to’s.

    Check Out Our Fall Newsletter!

    Our print newsletter has handy recipes, industry news, specials and promotions, and even trivia. To join our mailing list contact us! Larry & Sons, Inc. provides expert plumbing, air conditioning, heating and water treatment services throughout the Hagerstown and the tri-state region of Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

    We're ready to serve you safely!
    Ask about our zero contact service calls.

    See our Video Here!