We can all benefit from saving money from time to time. One of the simplest ways to do this is by making some energy-efficient changes in 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 changes.
1. Install a Smart Thermostat
If you still use a round-dial thermostat and access 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 function homeowners enjoy the most is being able to control their smart thermostats from anywhere they want through their smartphone or other smart device. For instance, if you forget to use your thermostat before going on vacation, you can just use your smartphone and make the adjustments.
Similar to 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 offer the capability to learn your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient corrections. They can even provide monthly energy reports that show how much energy you've used and when so you can make changes to reduce costs.
If you’re curious about how to secure a free smart thermostat, check with your utility company to learn if there are any discounts or free smart thermostats available.
2. HVAC Tune Ups
Regrettably, many homeowners often forget to keep their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this may not seem like a huge deal, ignoring maintenance can produce a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan.
With an HVAC maintenance service, the technician should inspect your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and catch minor issues before they create bigger, more expensive repair issues. Tune ups keep HVAC systems functioning at optimal condition, which means less energy is used to heat and cool your home. This could also help with your energy bills, expand the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs.
We recommend two HVAC tune ups annually – once during the spring before summer and again during the fall before the arrival of cold weather.
3. Replacing Your Worn-Down, Inefficient HVAC Equipment
Unfortunately, like any appliance, HVAC systems have a shelf life and inevitably need to be replaced. Modern heaters and cooling systems are much more effective than models sold just over a decade ago. Fortunately, helpful HVAC companies like Faust Air Conditioning and Heating can offer professional services such as furnace installation in Wharton.
Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can live about 15-20 years. If the equipment is within that period of time, it might be a good idea to replace them now to minimize the risk of premature equipment failures that can leave you cold and uncomfortable if it’s a cold winter night. If your equipment is approaching 15 years old and has a problem that needs an expensive repair, it’s definitely time to replace the unit. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, installing a new HVAC system could save you approximately 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll recover some of the costs of buying a new system.
A professional HVAC technician can help you find the most energy efficient HVAC system for your needs. In general, look for HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, indicating the equipment satisfies firm guidelines made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are some of the most efficient systems on the market, 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 energy efficiency of cooling equipment.
Call a reputable HVAC provider like Faust Air Conditioning and Heating for air conditioning installation in Wharton.
4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters
The next time you’re searching for new HVAC filters, consider that not all air filters are capable of providing the same results. Specific air filters are far more efficient than others, contributing 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 relevant to note, however, that high-efficiency air filters can sometimes restrict airflow too much based on the type of HVAC system you installed. It’s worthwhile to review the owner’s manual before purchasing a filter to determine the right one for your system.