We can all benefit from saving a few bucks here and there. One of the simplest ways to do this is by making some energy-efficient changes around 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 more affordable monthly energy bills.  

Read on to learn more about 4 ways you can make energy-efficient home improvements. 

 1. Install 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 includes several features to assist with energy efficiency. 

The function homeowners like the most is being able to access their smart thermostats from anywhere by using their smartphone or other smart device. For example, if you forget to use your thermostat before taking a vacation, you can easily use your smartphone and make any needed adjustments.  

Just like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat allows you to schedule your home’s temperature determined by the time of day and day of the week so you’re not heating or cooling an empty house. Smart thermostats also offer the ability to watch your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient modifications. They even generate monthly energy reports that show how much energy you’re using and when so you can make modifications to save money.  

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

2. HVAC Tune Ups 

Unfortunately, some homeowners often forget about having their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this does not seem like a huge deal, inadequate maintenance will sometimes lead to a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan. 

When performing an HVAC maintenance service, your technician should inspect your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and identify minor problems before they lead to bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance can keep HVAC systems running in optimal condition, which means they use less energy to heat and cool your home. This can help with your energy bills, prolong the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and lead to fewer repairs. 

We encourage two HVAC tune ups each year – one in the spring before summer and one in the fall before the arrival of frigid weather. 

3. Getting rid of Your Old, Inefficient HVAC Equipment 

Regretfully, like all appliances, HVAC systems don't last forever and ultimately need to be replaced. New heaters and cooling systems are much more effective than equipment manufactured just over a decade ago. Thankfully, helpful HVAC companies like Cooks Air Conditioning and Heating Specialists can offer professional services like furnace installation in .  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can last about 15-20 years. If your systems are within that period of time, it can be a good idea to replace them now to avoid premature breakdowns that can leave you cold and uncomfortable if it’s a cold winter night. If your system is approaching 15 years old and needs an expensive repair, it’s usually time to replace it. 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 buying a new system. 

 A professional HVAC 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, meaning the equipment satisfies rigid guidelines established 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 intended for heating systems and measures how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, in the meantime, is used to measure the energy efficiency of cooling systems.  

Get in touch with a reputable HVAC provider like Cooks Air Conditioning and Heating Specialists for air conditioning installation in . 

 4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters 

The next time you’re looking for new HVAC filters, consider that not all air filters are capable of providing the same results. Specific air filters are far more successful than others, leading to lower energy bills and cleaner indoor air. 

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 efficient the filters are. It’s worthwhile to note, though, that high-efficiency air filters can in fact obstruct airflow too much according to the type of HVAC system you have. It’s important to read the owner’s manual before purchasing a filter to determine the ideal model for your system.