We can all benefit from saving a few bucks where we can. One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is by making some energy-efficient changes in your home. Upgrading your HVAC system or putting in a smart thermostat, for example, offers more control over your HVAC system, leading 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 a round-dial thermostat and control it manually, consider taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which contains several features to assist with energy efficiency. 

The function homeowners appreciate the most is having the capability to control their smart thermostats from anywhere they want through their smartphone or other smart device. For instance, when you forget to change your thermostat before taking a vacation, you can simply use your smartphone and make any needed adjustments.  

Just like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat permits you to schedule 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 offer the ability to watch your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient adjustments. They can even create monthly energy reports that show how much energy you are using and when so you can make modifications to cut costs.  

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

2. HVAC Tune Ups 

Unfortunately, lots of homeowners often forget to have their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this may not seem like a huge deal, inadequate maintenance could lead to a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan. 

With an HVAC maintenance service, a heating and cooling technician will inspect your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and pinpoint minor flaws before they lead to bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance can keep HVAC systems working at optimal condition, which means they use less energy to heat and cool your home. This will lower your energy bills, expand the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and lead to fewer repairs. 

We recommend two HVAC tune ups each year – once in the spring before summer and another in the fall before the arrival of winter weather. 

3. Upgrading Your Old, Inefficient HVAC Equipment 

Unfortunately, like every appliance, HVAC systems can't run forever and ultimately need to be replaced. Modern heaters and cooling products are much more efficient than equipment produced just over a decade ago. Luckily, quality HVAC companies like Schraer Heating & Air Conditioning can handle professional services like furnace installation in .  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can last around 15-20 years. If your systems are within that period of time, it might be a good idea to replace them ahead of time to minimize the risk of premature equipment failure that can leave you cold and uncomfortable if it’s a cold winter night. If your HVAC system is about 15 years old and needs an expensive repair, it’s usually 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 on the market. For the most part, look for HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, meaning the equipment satisfies strict guidelines set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems can be 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 quantify the efficiency of air conditioning systems.  

Call a reputable HVAC provider like Schraer Heating & Air Conditioning for air conditioning installation in . 

 4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters 

When you’re shopping for new HVAC filters, consider that not all air filters are the same. Some air filters are far more effective than others, resulting in lower energy bills and cleaner indoor air. 

The effectiveness of HVAC air filters is scored 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 worthwhile to note, though, that high-efficiency air filters can in fact impede airflow too much depending on the type of HVAC system you installed. It’s worthwhile to read the owner’s manual before buying a filter to determine the ideal model for your system.