We can all benefit from saving a few bucks from time to time. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by making some energy-efficient changes throughout your home. Upgrading your HVAC system or putting in a smart thermostat, for example, offers more control over your heating and cooling system, leading to a more energy-efficient home and savings on your monthly energy bills.  

Continue below to learn more about 4 ways you can make energy-efficient home changes. 

 1. Look for Smart Home Products Like a Smart Thermostat  

If you still use an older thermostat and access it manually, consider taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which comes with several features to assist with energy efficiency. 

The function homeowners appreciate the most is having the capability to access their smart thermostats from anywhere through their smartphone or other smart device. For example, in situations where you forget to adjust your thermostat before leaving for vacation, you can easily take out your smartphone and make the adjustments.  

Like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat allows 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 offer the ability to watch your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient corrections. They can even create monthly energy reports that demonstrate how much energy you are using and when so you can make adjustments to cut costs.  

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

2. Routine HVAC Maintenance 

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

When performing an HVAC maintenance service, the technician will examine your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and identify minor problems 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 help with your energy bills, prolong the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and lead to fewer repairs. 

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

3. Replacing Your Aging, Inefficient HVAC Equipment 

Unfortunately, like all appliances, HVAC systems have a shelf life and eventually need to be replaced. Newer heaters and cooling equipment is much more efficient than models manufactured just over 10 years ago. Fortunately, helpful HVAC companies like Phelps Heating & Cooling, Inc. can offer professional services like furnace installation in .  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can live approximately 15-20 years. If the equipment is within that span, it might be a good idea to replace them ahead of time to avoid untimely equipment failure that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your equipment is approaching 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, upgrading to a new HVAC system could save you between 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll recover some of the costs of installing a new system. 

 A professional comfort technician can help you find the most energy efficient HVAC system available. As a general rule of thumb, look for HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, meaning the equipment meets firm guidelines made 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 intended for heating systems and illustrates how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, on the other hand, is used to measure the efficiency of cooling systems.  

Get in touch with a reputable HVAC provider like Phelps Heating & Cooling, Inc. for air conditioning installation in . 

 4. Look for Energy-Efficient Air Filters 

If you’re shopping for new HVAC filters, remember that not all air filters are capable of providing the same results. Specific air filters are far more successful than others, leading to lower energy bills and a clean home. 

The efficiency 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 effective the filters are. It’s worthwhile to note, however, that high-efficiency air filters can in fact restrict airflow too much depending on the type of HVAC system you installed. It’s important to review the owner’s manual before getting a filter to find the ideal model for your system.