We can all benefit from saving money where we can. One of the simplest ways to do this is by improving energy efficiency throughout your home. Upgrading your HVAC system or installing a smart thermostat, for example, provides more control over your HVAC equipment, contributing to a more energy-efficient home and lower monthly energy bills.  

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

 1. Look for a Smart Thermostat  

If you still use a round-dial thermostat and adjust it manually, try taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which contains a number of features to improve your home's energy efficiency. 

The feature homeowners like the most is being able to control their smart thermostats from anywhere they want with their smartphone or other smart device. For example, in situations where you forget to use your thermostat before taking a vacation, you can simply use your smartphone and make any needed adjustments.  

Like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat enables 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 heating or cooling an empty house. Smart thermostats also offer the capability to watch 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 cut costs.  

If you’re curious about how to get a free smart thermostat, talk to your utility company to see if there are any discounts or free smart thermostats available to you. 

2. HVAC Tune Ups 

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

During an HVAC maintenance service, a heating and cooling technician is going to inspect your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and catch minor problems before they produce bigger, more expensive repair issues. Tune ups keep HVAC systems running in optimal condition, which means less energy is needed to heat and cool your home. This can help with your energy bills, increase the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs. 

We suggest two HVAC tune ups each year – once in the spring before summer and again during the fall before the arrival of cold weather. 

3. Upgrading Your Old, Inefficient HVAC Equipment 

Regretfully, like every appliance, HVAC systems can't run forever and eventually need to be replaced. Modern heaters and cooling products are much more energy efficient than equipment produced just over a decade ago. Fortunately, helpful HVAC companies like Phelps Heating & Cooling, Inc. can offer professional services including furnace installation in Hodgenville.  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can last approximately 15-20 years. If your systems are within that span, it is often be a good idea to replace them now to prevent premature equipment failure that can leave you cold and uncomfortable if it’s a cold winter night. If your equipment is approaching 15 years old and needs an expensive repair, it’s definitely time to replace it. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, installing a new HVAC system can sometimes save you approximately 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 available. In general, look for HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, indicating the equipment meets rigid guidelines made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are often some of the most efficient systems on the market, boasting both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is used for heating systems and measures how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, meanwhile, is used to quantify the energy efficiency of cooling equipment.  

Contact a reputable HVAC provider like Phelps Heating & Cooling, Inc. for air conditioning installation in Hodgenville. 

 4. Look for High Efficiency Air Filters 

The next time you’re shopping for new HVAC filters, keep in mind that not all air filters are created equally. Certain air filters are far more efficient than others, leading to lower energy bills and a clean home. 

The efficiency of HVAC air filters is illustrated by their Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV rating. The MERV scale ranges between 1-20; the higher the number, the more effective the filters are. It’s worthwhile to note, however, that high-efficiency air filters can sometimes obstruct airflow too much according to the type of HVAC system you have. It’s important to review the owner’s manual before getting a filter to find the best option for your system.