We can all benefit from saving money where we can. An easy way to do this is by identifying energy inefficiencies around your home. Upgrading your HVAC system or adding a smart thermostat, for example, offers more control over your HVAC system, contributing to a more energy-efficient home and savings on your monthly energy bills.
Continue below to read 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 comes with a number of features to improve your home's energy efficiency.
The functionality homeowners enjoy the most is being able to adjust their smart thermostats from anywhere with their smartphone or other smart device. As an example, in situations where you forget to change your thermostat before leaving for vacation, you can simply pull out your smartphone and make any needed adjustments.
Similar to a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat allows you to schedule 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 capability to understand 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 changes to reduce costs.
If you’re wondering how to obtain a free smart thermostat, check with your utility company to learn if there are any discounts or free smart thermostats available to you.
2. HVAC Tune Ups
Regrettably, some homeowners often forget to have their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this may not seem like a huge deal, a lack of maintenance can lead to a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan.
When performing an HVAC maintenance service, the technician is going to inspect your HVAC system, clean important components, and identify minor problems before they create 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 can reduce your energy bills, increase 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 again in the fall before the arrival of cold weather.
3. Upgrading Your Worn-Down, Inefficient HVAC Equipment
Annoyingly, like all appliances, HVAC systems can't run forever and eventually need to be replaced. Modern heaters and cooling products are much more efficient than units manufactured just over a decade ago. Luckily, local HVAC companies like Patterson & Stirling Inc can handle professional services such as furnace installation in Erie.
Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can run for around 15-20 years. If your systems are within that period of time, it might be a good idea to replace them now to minimize the risk of untimely equipment failures that can leave you cold and uncomfortable if it’s a cold winter night. If your system is approaching 15 years old and requires an expensive repair, it’s definitely time to replace the unit. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, installing a new HVAC system can 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. In general, look for HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, which means 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 on the market, offering both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is for heating systems and illustrates how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, meanwhile, is used to calculate the energy efficiency of air conditioning systems.
Contact a reputable HVAC provider like Patterson & Stirling Inc for air conditioning installation in Erie.
4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters
The next time you’re looking for new HVAC filters, keep in mind that not all air filters are created equally. Specific air filters are far more efficient than others, leading to lower energy bills and a clean home.
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 effective the filters are. It’s important to note, however, that high-efficiency air filters can actually obstruct airflow too much depending on the type of HVAC system you own. It’s worthwhile to study the owner’s manual before purchasing a filter to determine the right one for your system.