We can all benefit from saving a few bucks here and there. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by improving energy efficiency in your home. Upgrading your HVAC equipment or installing a smart thermostat, for example, provides more control over your HVAC equipment, contributing to a more energy-efficient home and lower 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 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 make your home more energy efficient.
The feature homeowners enjoy the most is having the capability to access their smart thermostats from anywhere with their smartphone or other smart device. For example, if you forget to change your thermostat before going on vacation, you can easily pull out your smartphone and make the necessary adjustment.
Just like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat allows you to set up a schedule for your home’s temperature based on the time of day and day of the week so you’re not spending energy on an empty house. Smart thermostats also offer the capacity to learn your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient adjustments. They also generate monthly energy reports that demonstrate how much energy you are using and when so you can make changes to reduce costs.
If you’re curious about how to obtain a free smart thermostat, ask your utility company to find out if there are any discounts or free smart thermostats offered.
2. HVAC Tune Ups
Unfortunately, lots of homeowners often forget to have their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this does not seem important, a lack of maintenance can produce a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan.
During an HVAC maintenance service, your technician is going to inspect your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and identify minor issues before they create bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance keeps HVAC systems functioning at optimal condition, which means less energy is needed to heat and cool your home. This will lower your energy bills, expand the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs.
We suggest two HVAC tune ups every year – once during the spring before summer and again during the fall before the arrival of frigid weather.
3. Upgrading Your Aging, Inefficient HVAC Equipment
Unfortunately, like any appliance, HVAC systems can't run forever and inevitably need to be replaced. Modern heaters and cooling products are much more effective than units produced just over 10 years ago. Fortunately, local HVAC companies like TopTec Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical can perform professional services including furnace installation in Libertyville.
Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can run for about 15-20 years. If your systems are within that span, it is often be a good idea to replace them early to minimize the risk of untimely equipment failure that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your equipment is about 15 years old and needs an expensive repair, it’s definitely time to replace it. As reported by the U.S. Department of Energy, installing a new HVAC system could save you between 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll get back some of the costs of installing a new system.
A professional HVAC technician can help you find the most energy efficient HVAC system on the market. As a general rule of thumb, try to find HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, which means the equipment satisfies rigid guidelines made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems can be some of the most efficient systems around, offering both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is for heating systems and measures how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, meanwhile, is used to quantify the efficiency of cooling equipment.
Contact a reputable HVAC provider like TopTec Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical for air conditioning installation in Libertyville.
4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters
If you’re searching for new HVAC filters, keep in mind that not all air filters are the same. Specific air filters are far more successful than others, leading to lower energy bills and a cleaner home environment.
The performance 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 worthwhile to note, however, that high-efficiency air filters can in fact impede airflow too much based on the type of HVAC system you own. It’s beneficial to review the owner’s manual before purchasing a filter to determine the best option for your system.