We can all benefit from saving money here and there. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by improving energy efficiency in your home. Upgrading your HVAC system or installing a smart thermostat, for example, offers more control over your HVAC system, leading to a more energy-efficient home and more affordable monthly energy bills.
Read on 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 control it manually, consider taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which contains several features to improve your home's energy efficiency.
The functionality homeowners appreciate the most is being able to adjust their smart thermostats from wherever by using their smartphone or other smart device. For example, in situations where you forget to change your thermostat before leaving for vacation, you can easily take out your smartphone and make the necessary adjustment.
Similar to a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat permits you to pre-set 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 feature the ability to learn your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient modifications. They even create monthly energy reports that illustrate how much energy you've used and when so you can make changes to reduce costs.
If you’re wanting to know how to secure a free smart thermostat, check with your utility company to see if there are any discounts or free smart thermostats offered.
2. HVAC Tune Ups
Sadly, some homeowners often forget to keep their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this may not seem like a huge deal, inadequate maintenance will sometimes lead to a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan.
During an HVAC maintenance service, your technician is going to examine your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and identify minor flaws before they lead to bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance can keep HVAC systems working at optimal condition, which means less energy is used to heat and cool your home. This could also help with your energy bills, increase the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs.
We recommend two HVAC tune ups every year – once during the spring before summer and again during the fall before the arrival of winter weather.
3. Replacing Your Old, Inefficient HVAC Equipment
Unfortunately, like every appliance, HVAC systems have a shelf life and inevitably need to be replaced. New heaters and cooling equipment is much more efficient than models sold just over a decade ago. Luckily, local HVAC companies like The Frazier Company can offer professional services including furnace installation in Omaha.
Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can live approximately 15-20 years. If the equipment is within that span, it can be a good idea to replace them ahead of time to prevent premature equipment failure that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your HVAC system is about 15 years old and requires an expensive repair, it’s almost always time to replace it. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, installing a new HVAC system can save you approximately 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll get back some of the costs of buying a new system.
A professional heating and cooling technician can help you determine the most energy efficient HVAC system for your needs. In general, look for HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, meaning the equipment fulfills firm guidelines set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are some of the most efficient systems on the market, offering both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is intended for heating systems and illustrates how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, meanwhile, is used to quantify the efficiency of cooling systems.
Call a reputable HVAC provider like The Frazier Company for air conditioning installation in Omaha.
4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters
When you’re shopping for new HVAC filters, consider that not all air filters are the same. Certain air filters are far more efficient than others, leading to lower energy bills and a cleaner home environment.
The effectiveness 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 effective the filters are. It’s worthwhile to note, though, that high-efficiency air filters can actually restrict airflow too much according to the type of HVAC system you have. It’s important to read the owner’s manual before buying a filter to find the ideal model for your system.