We can all benefit from saving money 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 putting in a smart thermostat, for example, offers more control over your HVAC system, leading to a more energy-efficient home and savings on your monthly energy bills.  

Continue below to learn about 4 ways you can make energy-efficient home changes. 

 1. Install a Smart Thermostat  

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

The function homeowners enjoy the most is having the capability to adjust their smart thermostats from anywhere through their smartphone or other smart device. For example, when you forget to use your thermostat before going on vacation, you can simply take out your smartphone and make the adjustments.  

Similar to a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat permits you to set up a schedule for 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 learn your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient corrections. They even provide monthly energy reports that illustrate how much energy you've used and when so you can make modifications to save money.  

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

2. Routine HVAC Maintenance 

Regrettably, some homeowners often forget to have their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this does not seem important, inadequate maintenance will sometimes result in 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 necessary components, and pinpoint minor problems before they lead to bigger, more expensive repair issues. Tune ups keep HVAC systems running in optimal condition, which means less energy is needed to heat and cool your home. This can help with your energy bills, expand the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs. 

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

3. Replacing Your Old, Inefficient HVAC Equipment 

Unfortunately, like any appliance, HVAC systems don't last forever and ultimately need to be replaced. Modern heaters and cooling equipment is much more energy efficient than models produced just over a decade ago. Fortunately, local HVAC companies like Cooks Air Conditioning and Heating Specialists can offer professional services like furnace installation in Palm Coast.  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can live around 15-20 years. If your systems are within that timeframe, it might be a good idea to replace them now to avoid untimely breakdowns that can leave you cold and uncomfortable if it’s a cold winter night. If your HVAC system is approaching 15 years old and needs an expensive repair, it’s definitely time to replace the unit. As reported by the U.S. Department of Energy, installing a new HVAC system can sometimes save you about 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll get back some of the costs of installing a new system. 

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

Contact a reputable HVAC provider like Cooks Air Conditioning and Heating Specialists for air conditioning installation in Palm Coast. 

 4. Use High Efficiency Air Filters 

If you’re searching 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 effective than others, resulting in 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 between 1-20; the higher the number, the more effective the filters are. It’s relevant to note, though, that high-efficiency air filters can in fact restrict airflow too much depending on the type of HVAC system you own. It’s beneficial to read the owner’s manual before getting a filter to find the best option for your system.