We can all benefit from saving a few bucks where we can. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by improving energy efficiency in your home. Upgrading your HVAC system or putting in a smart thermostat, for example, provides more control over your HVAC system, contributing to a more energy-efficient home and more affordable monthly energy bills.  

Read on to learn more about 4 ways you can make energy-efficient home improvements. 

 1. Try Smart Home Products Like 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 includes a number of features to improve your home's energy efficiency. 

The functionality homeowners enjoy the most is having the ability to access their smart thermostats from anywhere through their smartphone or other smart device. As an example, when you forget to adjust your thermostat before leaving for vacation, you can easily take out your smartphone and make any needed adjustments.  

Just like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat enables you to schedule your home’s temperature determined by the time of day and day of the week so you’re not heating or cooling an empty house. Smart thermostats also feature the capability to learn your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient modifications. They even generate monthly energy reports that show how much energy you’re using and when so you can make adjustments to reduce costs.  

If you’re curious about how to secure a free smart thermostat, ask your utility company to find out if there are any discounts or free smart thermostats offered. 

2. Regularly Scheduled Tune-Ups for Your HVAC System 

Regrettably, many homeowners often forget to have their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this might not seem important, inadequate maintenance could result in a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan. 

When performing an HVAC maintenance service, the technician is going to inspect your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and catch minor issues before they produce bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance can keep HVAC systems running in optimal condition, which means less energy is needed to heat and cool your home. This will help with 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 another in the fall before the arrival of cold weather. 

3. Replacing Your Old, Inefficient HVAC Equipment 

Annoyingly, like every appliance, HVAC systems can't run forever and inevitably need to be replaced. New heaters and cooling systems are much more energy efficient than models produced just over 10 years ago. Thankfully, local HVAC companies like Cooler Tymes LLC can perform professional services like furnace installation in Litchfield Park.  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can last around 15-20 years. If your system is within that timeframe, it is often be a good idea to replace them now to minimize the risk of premature breakdowns that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your system is around 15 years old and needs an expensive repair, it’s almost always time to replace it. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, installing a new HVAC system can sometimes save you about 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll get back some of the costs of putting in a new system. 

 A professional comfort technician can help you determine the most energy efficient HVAC system on the market. As a general rule of thumb, try to find HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, meaning the equipment satisfies strict guidelines made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems can be some of the most efficient systems available, boasting both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is 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 Cooler Tymes LLC for air conditioning installation in Litchfield Park. 

 4. Switch to More High Efficiency Air Filters 

When you’re searching for new HVAC filters, remember that not all air filters are capable of providing the same results. Some air filters are far more successful than others, contributing to lower energy bills and a cleaner home environment. 

The effectiveness 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 relevant to note, however, that high-efficiency air filters can sometimes impede airflow too much according to the type of HVAC system you own. It’s worthwhile to review the owner’s manual before getting a filter to find the right one for your system.