We can all benefit from saving money where we can. One of the simplest ways to do this is by identifying energy inefficiencies throughout 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 lower monthly energy bills.
Read on to learn about 4 ways you can make energy-efficient home improvements.
1. Install a Smart Thermostat
If you still use an older thermostat and adjust it manually, try taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which contains numerous features to assist with energy efficiency.
The feature homeowners like the most is having the capability to control their smart thermostats from anywhere through their smartphone or other smart device. For instance, in situations where you forget to use your thermostat before taking a vacation, you can easily pull out your smartphone and make any needed adjustments.
Just like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat permits you to pre-set your home’s temperature determined by the time of day and day of the week so you’re not cooling or heating an empty house. Smart thermostats also offer the capability to understand your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient adjustments. They also provide monthly energy reports that illustrate how much energy you’re using and when so you can make adjustments to reduce costs.
If you’re wondering how to obtain a free smart thermostat, ask your utility company to see if there are any discounts or free smart thermostats offered.
2. HVAC Tune Ups
Unfortunately, many homeowners often forget about having their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this may not seem like a huge deal, ignoring maintenance will sometimes result in a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan.
When performing an HVAC maintenance service, a heating and cooling technician is going to evaluate your HVAC system, clean key components, and pinpoint minor flaws before they create bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance can keep HVAC systems working at optimal condition, which means less energy is used to heat and cool your home. This can lower your energy bills, prolong the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs.
We suggest two HVAC tune ups each year – one during the spring before summer and one in the fall before the arrival of winter weather.
3. Replacing Your Aging, Inefficient HVAC Equipment
Annoyingly, like any appliance, HVAC systems don't last forever and ultimately need to be replaced. Newer heaters and cooling products are much more energy efficient than equipment sold just over 10 years ago. Fortunately, local HVAC companies like H&C Heating and Cooling can handle professional services such as furnace installation in Laurel.
Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can live around 15-20 years. If your systems are within that timeframe, it is often be a good idea to replace them ahead of time to avoid untimely breakdowns that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your HVAC system is around 15 years old and requires an expensive repair, it’s usually time to replace it. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, getting a new HVAC system can save you about 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll recoup some of the costs of buying a new system.
A professional comfort technician can help you identify the most energy efficient HVAC system available. 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 are often some of the most efficient systems on the market, featuring both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is for heating systems and measures how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, in the meantime, is used to calculate the energy efficiency of cooling equipment.
Contact a reputable HVAC provider like H&C Heating and Cooling for air conditioning installation in Laurel.
4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters
The next time you’re looking for new HVAC filters, keep in mind that not all air filters are created equally. Some air filters are far more successful than others, leading to lower energy bills and cleaner indoor air.
The effectiveness of HVAC air filters is illustrated by their Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV rating. The MERV scale ranges from 1-20; the higher the number, the more effective the filters are. It’s relevant to note, though, that high-efficiency air filters can sometimes impede airflow too much according to the type of HVAC system you own. It’s worthwhile to read the owner’s manual before getting a filter to find the right one for your system.