We can all benefit from saving a few bucks from time to time. One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is by improving energy efficiency throughout your home. Upgrading your HVAC system or adding a smart thermostat, for example, offers more control over your HVAC equipment, contributing to a more energy-efficient home and lower monthly energy bills.  

Continue below to read about 4 ways you can make energy-efficient home improvements. 

 1. Try Smart Home Products Like a Smart Thermostat  

If you still use an older thermostat and adjust it manually, think about 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 feature homeowners like the most is having the ability to adjust their smart thermostats from wherever by using their smartphone or other smart device. For instance, when you forget to change your thermostat before going on vacation, you can simply pull out your smartphone and make the adjustments.  

Similar to a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat allows you to set up a schedule for your home’s temperature based on the time of day and day of the week so you’re not spending energy on an empty house. Smart thermostats also have the capacity to learn your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient adjustments. They even provide monthly energy reports that illustrate how much energy you've used and when so you can make adjustments to reduce costs.  

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

2. HVAC Tune Ups 

Sadly, many homeowners often forget to keep their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this may not seem like a huge deal, ignoring maintenance will sometimes lead to a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan. 

During an HVAC maintenance service, a heating and cooling technician will inspect your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and pinpoint minor problems before they lead to bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance can keep HVAC systems working at optimal condition, which means less energy is needed to heat and cool your home. This could also reduce your energy bills, expand the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and lead to fewer repairs. 

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

3. Getting rid of Your Aging, Inefficient HVAC Equipment 

Unfortunately, like all appliances, HVAC systems have a shelf life and inevitably need to be replaced. Modern heaters and cooling equipment is much more efficient than units sold just over 10 years ago. Thankfully, helpful HVAC companies like Pratt Brothers can offer professional services including furnace installation in Jefferson.  

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 on a cold winter night. If your equipment is about 15 years old and needs an expensive repair, it’s usually time to replace it. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, upgrading to a new HVAC system could save you approximately 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll recoup some of the costs of putting in a new system. 

 A professional heating and cooling technician can help you identify the most energy efficient HVAC system on the market. As a general rule of thumb, try to find HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, meaning the equipment meets strict guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems can be some of the most efficient systems available, featuring 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.  

Contact a reputable HVAC provider like Pratt Brothers for air conditioning installation in Jefferson. 

 4. Switch to More High Efficiency Air Filters 

If you’re looking for new HVAC filters, keep in mind that not all air filters are the same. Some air filters are far more effective than others, contributing to lower energy bills and cleaner indoor air. 

The effectiveness of HVAC air filters is rated 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 important to note, however, that high-efficiency air filters can in fact impede airflow too much based on the type of HVAC system you own. It’s worthwhile to review the owner’s manual before purchasing a filter to find the ideal model for your system.