We can all benefit from saving a few bucks here and there. One of the simplest ways to do so is by improving energy efficiency around your home. Upgrading your HVAC equipment or installing a smart thermostat, for example, gives you more control over your heating and cooling system, resulting in a more energy-efficient home and lower monthly energy bills.  

Keep reading to learn more about 4 ways you can make energy-efficient home changes. 

 1. Install a Smart Thermostat  

If you still use an older thermostat and access it manually, think about taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which includes numerous features to improve your home's energy efficiency. 

The feature homeowners enjoy the most is having the capability to adjust their smart thermostats from wherever by using their smartphone or other smart device. As an example, in situations where you forget to use your thermostat before taking a vacation, you can simply take out your smartphone and make the necessary adjustment.  

Just like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat enables you to pre-set your home’s temperature according to the time of day and day of the week so you’re not cooling or heating an empty house. Smart thermostats also feature the ability to watch your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient modifications. They even create monthly energy reports that show how much energy you’re using and when so you can make changes to save money.  

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

2. HVAC Tune Ups 

Unfortunately, some homeowners often forget about having their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this does not seem like a problem, ignoring maintenance will sometimes result in a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan. 

When performing an HVAC maintenance service, the technician will inspect your HVAC system, clean key components, and identify minor issues before they produce bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance keeps HVAC systems working at optimal condition, which means less energy is needed to heat and cool your home. This could also lower your energy bills, expand the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs. 

We recommend two HVAC tune ups annually – one in the spring before summer and one in the fall before the arrival of frigid weather. 

3. Replacing Your Old, Inefficient HVAC Equipment 

Annoyingly, like any appliance, HVAC systems can't run forever and inevitably need to be replaced. Modern heaters and cooling equipment is much more effective than equipment manufactured just over 10 years ago. Fortunately, quality HVAC companies like Phelps Heating & Cooling, Inc. can offer professional services such as furnace installation in .  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can run for approximately 15-20 years. If the equipment is within that period of time, it can be a good idea to replace them ahead of time to avoid premature breakdowns that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your system is approaching 15 years old and needs an expensive repair, it’s definitely time to replace the system. 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 installing a new system. 

 A professional heating and cooling technician can help you identify the most energy efficient HVAC system available. In general, try to find HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, indicating the equipment meets rigid guidelines set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems can be some of the most efficient systems available, boasting both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is for heating systems and illustrates how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, in the meantime, is used to calculate the energy efficiency of cooling systems.  

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

 4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters 

If you’re searching for new HVAC filters, keep in mind that not all air filters are the same. Specific air filters are far more successful than others, resulting in lower energy bills and a cleaner home environment. 

The performance 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 efficient the filters are. It’s relevant to note, however, that high-efficiency air filters can sometimes impede airflow too much based on the type of HVAC system you have. It’s important to read the owner’s manual before purchasing a filter to find the right one for your system.