We can all benefit from saving a few bucks here and there. One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is by improving energy efficiency in your home. Upgrading your HVAC system or installing a smart thermostat, for example, gives you more control over your HVAC system, leading to a more energy-efficient home and lower monthly energy bills.
Keep reading 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 control it manually, consider 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 feature homeowners like the most is being able to adjust their smart thermostats from anywhere they want with their smartphone or other smart device. As an example, when you forget to use your thermostat before taking a vacation, you can just use your smartphone and make the necessary adjustment.
Similar to a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat allows you to pre-set your home’s temperature determined by the time of day and day of the week so you’re not spending energy on an empty house. Smart thermostats also offer the ability to watch your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient corrections. They can even create monthly energy reports that illustrate how much energy you are using and when so you can make adjustments to reduce costs.
If you’re wanting to know how to get a free smart thermostat, check with your utility company to see if there are any discounts or free smart thermostats available.
2. HVAC Tune Ups
Unfortunately, many homeowners often forget to keep their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this may not seem like a huge deal, inadequate maintenance can produce a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan.
With an HVAC maintenance service, your technician is going to evaluate your HVAC system, clean key components, and identify minor problems before they produce bigger, more expensive repair issues. Tune ups keep HVAC systems working at optimal condition, which means less energy is needed to heat and cool your home. This could also lower your energy bills, expand the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs.
We suggest two HVAC tune ups each year – once during the spring before summer and again during the fall before the arrival of frigid weather.
3. Replacing Your Old, Inefficient HVAC Equipment
Regretfully, like any appliance, HVAC systems don't last forever and inevitably need to be replaced. Modern heaters and cooling equipment is much more energy efficient than units produced just over a decade ago. Thankfully, local HVAC companies like Dave's Diversified Services can offer professional services such as furnace installation in Front Royal.
Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can live around 15-20 years. If your system is within that span, it might be a good idea to replace them now to prevent untimely equipment failure that can leave you cold and uncomfortable if it’s a cold winter night. If your equipment is approaching 15 years old and has a problem that needs an expensive repair, it’s definitely time to replace the unit. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, getting a new HVAC system can save you about 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll recoup some of the costs of buying a new system.
A professional HVAC technician can help you find the most energy efficient HVAC system on the market. For the most part, try to find HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, meaning the equipment fulfills rigid guidelines set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are often some of the most efficient systems available, boasting both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is for heating systems and measures how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, in the meantime, is used to calculate the energy efficiency of air conditioning systems.
Contact a reputable HVAC provider like Dave's Diversified Services for air conditioning installation in Front Royal.
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 capable of providing the same results. Some air filters are far more efficient than others, contributing to lower energy bills and a cleaner home environment.
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 efficient the filters are. It’s important to note, though, that high-efficiency air filters can sometimes obstruct airflow too much depending on the type of HVAC system you installed. It’s beneficial to read the owner’s manual before getting a filter to determine the ideal model for your system.