4 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

December 19, 2022

We can all benefit from saving a few bucks where we can. One of the easiest ways to do this is by identifying energy inefficiencies throughout your home. Upgrading your HVAC equipment or putting in a smart thermostat, for example, provides more control over your heating and cooling system, contributing to a more energy-efficient home and more affordable monthly energy bills.

Read on 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, try 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 enjoy the most is having the ability to control their smart thermostats from anywhere by using their smartphone or other smart device. For instance, in situations where you forget to adjust your thermostat before taking a vacation, you can easily pull out your smartphone and make the necessary adjustment.

Like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat allows you to schedule your home’s temperature according to the time of day and day of the week so you’re not spending energy on an empty house. Smart thermostats also feature the capacity to understand your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient modifications. They also generate monthly energy reports that show how much energy you've used and when so you can make adjustments to reduce costs.

If you’re wondering how to secure a free smart thermostat, talk to your utility company to find out if there are any discounts or free smart thermostats offered.

2. HVAC Tune Ups

Sadly, many homeowners often forget to keep their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this does not seem like a huge deal, inadequate maintenance could lead to a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan.

With an HVAC maintenance service, your technician is going to inspect your HVAC system, clean important components, and pinpoint minor problems before they produce bigger, more expensive repair issues. Tune ups keep HVAC systems working at optimal condition, which means less energy is used to heat and cool your home. This will help with your energy bills, expand the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and lead to fewer repairs.

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

3. Getting rid of Your Worn-Down, Inefficient HVAC Equipment

Unfortunately, like all appliances, HVAC systems have a shelf life and ultimately need to be replaced. Newer heaters and cooling equipment is much more energy efficient than units manufactured just over 10 years ago. Luckily, quality HVAC companies like Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc can offer professional services like furnace installation in South Beloit and Belvidere.

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can live approximately 15-20 years. If your system is within that span, it can be a good idea to replace them ahead of time to minimize the risk of untimely equipment failures that can leave you cold and uncomfortable if it’s a cold winter night. If your HVAC system is around 15 years old and requires an expensive repair, it’s definitely time to replace the unit. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, getting a new HVAC system could save you between 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll recover some of the costs of installing a new system.

A professional comfort technician can help you identify the most energy efficient HVAC system available. For the most part, seek out HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, meaning the equipment fulfills strict guidelines set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems can be some of the most efficient systems available, offering both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is used for heating systems and measures how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, meanwhile, is used to quantify the energy efficiency of cooling systems.

Call a reputable HVAC provider like Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc for air conditioning installation in South Beloit and Belvidere.

4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters

The next time you’re looking for new HVAC filters, consider that not all air filters are the same. Specific air filters are far more efficient than others, leading 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 efficient the filters are. It’s important to note, however, that high-efficiency air filters can actually obstruct airflow too much according to the type of HVAC system you have. It’s worthwhile to study the owner’s manual before purchasing a filter to determine the best option for your system.