We can all benefit from saving money here and there. One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is by improving energy efficiency around your home. Upgrading your HVAC equipment or adding a smart thermostat, for example, provides more control over your heating and cooling system, leading to a more energy-efficient home and more affordable monthly energy bills.
Continue below to learn more about 4 ways you can make energy-efficient home enhancements.
1. Install a Smart Thermostat
If you still use an older thermostat and access it manually, consider taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which contains several features to improve your home's energy efficiency.
The functionality homeowners enjoy the most is being able to control their smart thermostats from anywhere they want with their smartphone or other smart device. For example, in situations where you forget to change your thermostat before going on vacation, you can just take out your smartphone and make any needed adjustments.
Similar to a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat allows you to pre-set your home’s temperature based on the time of day and day of the week so you’re not cooling or heating an empty house. Smart thermostats also have the capacity to learn your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient adjustments. They also provide monthly energy reports that show how much energy you are using and when so you can make adjustments to reduce costs.
If you’re curious about how to secure a free smart thermostat, talk to your utility company to find out if there are any discounts or free smart thermostats available.
2. HVAC Tune Ups
Unfortunately, some homeowners often forget to have their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this may not seem like a problem, inadequate maintenance can produce a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan.
During an HVAC maintenance service, a heating and cooling technician should evaluate your HVAC system, clean important components, and identify minor flaws before they lead to bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance keeps HVAC systems working at optimal condition, which means less energy is needed to heat and cool your home. This could also lower your energy bills, prolong the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs.
We suggest two HVAC tune ups every year – one during the spring before summer and one during the fall before the arrival of cold weather.
3. Getting rid of Your Old, Inefficient HVAC Equipment
Regretfully, like any appliance, HVAC systems don't last forever and inevitably need to be replaced. New heaters and cooling equipment is much more energy efficient than units produced just over 10 years ago. Fortunately, helpful HVAC companies like Scott Temperature can handle professional services like furnace installation in Lawrence.
Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can live approximately 15-20 years. If the equipment is within that span, it can be a good idea to replace them early to avoid untimely equipment failure that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your system is around 15 years old and requires an expensive repair, it’s almost always time to replace the system. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, upgrading to a new HVAC system can save you approximately 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll get back some of the costs of installing a new system.
A professional comfort technician can help you find the most energy efficient HVAC system for your needs. In general, try to find HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, indicating the equipment fulfills firm guidelines set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are some of the most efficient systems on the market, offering both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is used for heating systems and illustrates how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, meanwhile, is used to calculate the efficiency of cooling systems.
Contact a reputable HVAC provider like Scott Temperature for air conditioning installation in Lawrence.
4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters
When you’re shopping for new HVAC filters, remember that not all air filters are created equally. Specific air filters are far more efficient than others, leading to lower energy bills and a cleaner home environment.
The performance of HVAC air filters is rated by their Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV rating. The MERV scale ranges between 1-20; the higher the number, the more efficient the filters are. It’s important to note, though, that high-efficiency air filters can actually impede airflow too much depending on the type of HVAC system you own. It’s worthwhile to study the owner’s manual before getting a filter to determine the best option for your system.