We can all benefit from saving a few bucks from time to time. One of the easiest ways to do so is by identifying energy inefficiencies in your home. Upgrading your HVAC equipment or putting in a smart thermostat, for example, gives you more control over your HVAC equipment, resulting in a more energy-efficient home and lower 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 a round-dial thermostat and adjust it manually, try taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which includes several features to improve your home's energy efficiency.
The feature homeowners enjoy the most is having the capability to access their smart thermostats from wherever through their smartphone or other smart device. For instance, in situations where you forget to use your thermostat before taking a vacation, you can easily take out your smartphone and make any needed adjustments.
Just like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat enables you to schedule your home’s temperature according to the time of day and day of the week so you’re not heating or cooling an empty house. Smart thermostats also feature the capacity to understand your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient adjustments. They even provide monthly energy reports that demonstrate how much energy you are using and when so you can make modifications to save money.
If you’re curious about how to get 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 have their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this does not seem like a problem, inadequate maintenance could lead to a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan.
When performing an HVAC maintenance service, your technician is going to inspect your HVAC system, clean key components, and pinpoint minor flaws 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 could also reduce your energy bills, increase the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs.
We encourage two HVAC tune ups every year – once in the spring before summer and another during the fall before the arrival of frigid weather.
3. Upgrading Your Aging, Inefficient HVAC Equipment
Regretfully, like every appliance, HVAC systems don't last forever and inevitably need to be replaced. New heaters and cooling equipment is much more energy efficient than models manufactured just over 10 years ago. Luckily, helpful HVAC companies like Appalachian Heating can offer professional services such as furnace installation in Beckley and Mount Hope.
Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can run for around 15-20 years. If the equipment is within that period of time, it can be a good idea to replace them now to prevent premature breakdowns that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your system is about 15 years old and has a problem that needs an expensive repair, it’s usually time to replace it. As reported by the U.S. Department of Energy, getting a new HVAC system could save you approximately 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll recoup some of the costs of installing a new system.
A professional comfort technician can help you identify the most energy efficient HVAC system on the market. As a general rule of thumb, look for HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, which means the equipment satisfies rigid guidelines set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are some of the most efficient systems around, featuring both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is for heating systems and measures 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 Appalachian Heating for air conditioning installation in Beckley and Mount Hope.
4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters
When you’re shopping for new HVAC filters, keep in mind that not all air filters are capable of providing the same results. Some air filters are far more efficient than others, leading to lower energy bills and a clean home.
The efficiency 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 worthwhile to note, however, that high-efficiency air filters can actually impede airflow too much depending on the type of HVAC system you own. It’s worthwhile to read the owner’s manual before getting a filter to determine the ideal model for your system.