We can all benefit from saving a few bucks where we can. An easy way to do so is by improving energy efficiency throughout your home. Upgrading your HVAC equipment or putting in a smart thermostat, for example, gives you more control over your HVAC equipment, leading to a more energy-efficient home and more affordable monthly energy bills.  

Continue below 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 access it manually, try taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which includes a number of features to make your home more energy efficient. 

The function homeowners enjoy the most is being able to adjust their smart thermostats from wherever by using their smartphone or other smart device. For instance, in situations where you forget to change your thermostat before leaving for vacation, you can just take out your smartphone and make the necessary adjustment.  

Like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat enables 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 capability to learn your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient corrections. They also generate monthly energy reports that illustrate how much energy you’re using and when so you can make adjustments to cut costs.  

If you’re wondering 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 

Regrettably, many homeowners often forget to have their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this may not seem like a huge deal, ignoring maintenance will sometimes produce a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan. 

With an HVAC maintenance service, the technician will inspect your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and catch minor flaws before they produce bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance can keep HVAC systems functioning at optimal condition, which means they use less energy 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 recommend two HVAC tune ups every year – once in the spring before summer and another in the fall before the arrival of frigid weather. 

3. Getting rid of Your Aging, Inefficient HVAC Equipment 

Unfortunately, like any appliance, HVAC systems can't run forever and eventually need to be replaced. Modern heaters and cooling equipment is much more effective than equipment manufactured just over a decade ago. Thankfully, helpful HVAC companies like Paniccia Heating & Cooling can handle professional services including furnace installation in .  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can live approximately 15-20 years. If your system is within that timeframe, it is often be a good idea to replace them ahead of time to avoid untimely breakdowns that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your equipment is approaching 15 years old and requires an expensive repair, it’s usually time to replace the unit. As reported by the U.S. Department of Energy, getting a new HVAC system can sometimes save you about 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 identify the most energy efficient HVAC system available. As a general rule of thumb, look for HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, which means the equipment meets strict guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems can be some of the most efficient systems on the market, offering both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is used for heating systems and measures how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, on the other hand, is used to measure the efficiency of cooling systems.  

Get in touch with a reputable HVAC provider like Paniccia Heating & Cooling for air conditioning installation in . 

 4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters 

When you’re searching for new HVAC filters, remember that not all air filters are the same. Specific air filters are far more effective than others, leading to lower energy bills and a clean home. 

The performance 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 relevant to note, though, 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 read the owner’s manual before purchasing a filter to find the right one for your system.