4 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

December 19, 2022

We can all benefit from saving money here and there. An easy way to accomplish this is by improving energy efficiency around your home. Upgrading your HVAC system or adding a smart thermostat, for example, gives you more control over your HVAC system, contributing 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 adjust it manually, think about taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which comes with a number of 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 through their smartphone or other smart device. As an example, when you forget to use your thermostat before leaving for vacation, you can just take out your smartphone and make the adjustments.

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 have the ability to watch your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient modifications. They also generate monthly energy reports that demonstrate how much energy you’re using and when so you can make modifications to cut costs.

If you’re curious about how to secure 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, many homeowners often forget to keep their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this may not seem important, a lack of maintenance will sometimes produce a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan.

During an HVAC maintenance service, your technician should inspect your HVAC system, clean key components, and catch minor flaws before they lead to bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance can keep HVAC systems functioning at optimal condition, which means less energy is needed to heat and cool your home. This will help with your energy bills, increase the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs.

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

3. Getting rid of Your Old, Inefficient HVAC Equipment

Regretfully, like any appliance, HVAC systems have a shelf life and eventually need to be replaced. Newer heaters and cooling equipment is much more energy efficient than models manufactured just over 10 years ago. Fortunately, helpful HVAC companies like Home Comfort Heating & Air can handle professional services like furnace installation in Elk River.

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can run for approximately 15-20 years. If your systems are within that period of time, it is often be a good idea to replace them early to prevent untimely equipment failures that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your HVAC system is approaching 15 years old and has a problem that needs an expensive repair, it’s almost always time to replace the system. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, getting a new HVAC system can sometimes save you approximately 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll recoup some of the costs of putting in a new system.

A professional heating and cooling technician can help you determine the most energy efficient HVAC system for your needs. As a general rule of thumb, seek out HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, indicating the equipment meets firm guidelines set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are often some of the most efficient systems on the market, offering 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 quantify the energy efficiency of air conditioning systems.

Contact a reputable HVAC provider like Home Comfort Heating & Air for air conditioning installation in Elk River.

4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters

The next time you’re looking for new HVAC filters, remember that not all air filters are created equally. Certain air filters are far more successful than others, contributing to lower energy bills and a cleaner home environment.

The effectiveness of HVAC air filters is rated by their Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV rating. The MERV scale ranges from 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 obstruct 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 determine the ideal model for your system.