We can all benefit from saving a few bucks here and there. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by making some energy-efficient changes throughout your home. Upgrading your HVAC system or adding a smart thermostat, for example, gives you more control over your heating and cooling system, resulting in a more energy-efficient home and more affordable monthly energy bills.
Keep reading to learn about 4 ways you can make energy-efficient home enhancements.
1. Install a Smart Thermostat
If you still use a round-dial thermostat and adjust it manually, consider taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which comes with several features to assist with energy efficiency.
The functionality homeowners enjoy the most is having the capability to control their smart thermostats from anywhere they want with their smartphone or other smart device. As an example, if you forget to use your thermostat before taking a vacation, you can easily pull out your smartphone and make any needed adjustments.
Like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat permits you to pre-set your home’s temperature according to the time of day and day of the week so you’re not cooling or heating an empty house. Smart thermostats also feature the ability to learn your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient corrections. They even create monthly energy reports that show how much energy you’re using and when so you can make modifications to cut costs.
If you’re curious about how to obtain a free smart thermostat, check with your utility company to learn if there are any discounts or free smart thermostats available.
2. HVAC Tune Ups
Regrettably, some homeowners often forget about having their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this may not seem important, inadequate maintenance could produce a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan.
With an HVAC maintenance service, the technician is going to examine your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and pinpoint minor issues before they lead to bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance keeps HVAC systems working at optimal condition, which means they use less energy to heat and cool your home. This can reduce your energy bills, increase the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs.
We suggest two HVAC tune ups every year – one during the spring before summer and again in the fall before the arrival of frigid weather.
3. Replacing Your Old, Inefficient HVAC Equipment
Unfortunately, like any appliance, HVAC systems can't run forever and ultimately need to be replaced. New heaters and cooling systems are much more effective than equipment produced just over a decade ago. Luckily, local HVAC companies like Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. can handle professional services like furnace installation in West Columbia.
Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can live approximately 15-20 years. If the equipment is within that period of time, it can be a good idea to replace them now to prevent untimely breakdowns 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 it. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, getting a new HVAC system could save you about 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll recover some of the costs of installing a new system.
A professional HVAC technician can help you determine the most energy efficient HVAC system on the market. In general, seek out HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, meaning the equipment satisfies rigid guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are some of the most efficient systems available, offering both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is intended for heating systems and measures how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, on the other hand, is used to calculate the energy efficiency of cooling equipment.
Call a reputable HVAC provider like Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. for air conditioning installation in West Columbia.
4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters
If you’re looking for new HVAC filters, remember that not all air filters are created equally. Certain air filters are far more effective than others, resulting in lower energy bills and cleaner indoor air.
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 sometimes impede airflow too much according to the type of HVAC system you have. It’s beneficial to study the owner’s manual before getting a filter to find the ideal model for your system.