We can all benefit from saving a few bucks here and there. One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is by identifying energy inefficiencies around your home. Upgrading your HVAC equipment or putting in a smart thermostat, for example, gives you more control over your HVAC system, contributing to a more energy-efficient home and savings on your monthly energy bills.
Keep reading 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 adjust it manually, consider taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which contains a number of features to assist with energy efficiency.
The function homeowners enjoy the most is having the capability to adjust their smart thermostats from anywhere they want by using their smartphone or other smart device. As an example, if you forget to adjust your thermostat before going on vacation, you can easily pull out your smartphone and make any needed adjustments.
Just like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat permits you to set up a schedule for your home’s temperature determined by the time of day and day of the week so you’re not spending energy on an empty house. Smart thermostats also have the capability to understand your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient modifications. They also provide monthly energy reports that show how much energy you've used and when so you can make modifications to reduce costs.
If you’re curious about how to get a free smart thermostat, check with your utility company to see if there are any discounts or free smart thermostats available.
2. HVAC Tune Ups
Unfortunately, lots of homeowners often forget about having their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this may not seem like a problem, a lack of maintenance can lead to a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan.
During an HVAC maintenance service, the technician is going to evaluate your HVAC system, clean important components, and pinpoint minor flaws before they produce bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance can keep HVAC systems running in optimal condition, which means less energy is used to heat and cool your home. This can reduce your energy bills, increase the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs.
We recommend two HVAC tune ups every year – one in the spring before summer and one during the fall before the arrival of winter weather.
3. Replacing Your Aging, Inefficient HVAC Equipment
Unfortunately, like every appliance, HVAC systems can't run forever and ultimately need to be replaced. Newer heaters and cooling equipment is much more efficient than units manufactured just over 10 years ago. Luckily, local HVAC companies like Jett's Heating & Air Inc. can offer professional services including furnace installation in McHenry.
Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can live approximately 15-20 years. If your systems are within that span, it is often be a good idea to replace them ahead of time to minimize the risk of untimely equipment failures that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your system is about 15 years old and requires an expensive repair, it’s definitely time to replace the system. As reported by the U.S. Department of Energy, installing a new HVAC system can sometimes save you between 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll recoup 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. As a general rule of thumb, try to find HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, indicating the equipment satisfies strict guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems can be some of the most efficient systems on the market, boasting both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is for heating systems and measures how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, meanwhile, is used to quantify the efficiency of cooling systems.
Call a reputable HVAC provider like Jett's Heating & Air Inc. for air conditioning installation in McHenry.
4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters
The next time you’re shopping for new HVAC filters, consider that not all air filters are capable of providing the same results. Specific air filters are far more effective than others, resulting in lower energy bills and a cleaner home environment.
The performance of HVAC air filters is scored by their Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV rating. The MERV scale ranges from 1-20; the higher the number, the more efficient the filters are. It’s important to note, however, that high-efficiency air filters can sometimes obstruct airflow too much based on the type of HVAC system you own. It’s beneficial to study the owner’s manual before getting a filter to find the best option for your system.