We can all benefit from saving a few bucks from time to time. One of the easiest ways to do this is by making some energy-efficient changes around your home. Upgrading your HVAC equipment or adding a smart thermostat, for example, gives you more control over your HVAC equipment, leading to a more energy-efficient home and savings on your monthly energy bills.  

Read on to learn about 4 ways you can make energy-efficient home enhancements. 

 1. Install Smart Home Products Like 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 comes with several features to make your home more energy efficient. 

The function homeowners appreciate the most is having the capability to access their smart thermostats from wherever through their smartphone or other smart device. For example, when you forget to change your thermostat before leaving for vacation, you can easily use your smartphone and make the necessary adjustment.  

Similar to a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat enables you to schedule your home’s temperature based on the time of day and day of the week so you’re not cooling or heating an empty house. Smart thermostats also offer the ability to understand your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient adjustments. They also provide monthly energy reports that demonstrate how much energy you’re using and when so you can make changes to save money.  

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

2. Regularly Scheduled Tune-Ups for Your HVAC System 

Unfortunately, lots of homeowners often forget to keep their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this does not seem like a huge deal, a lack of maintenance will sometimes lead to a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan. 

During an HVAC maintenance service, a heating and cooling technician should examine your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and identify minor problems before they produce bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance keeps HVAC systems functioning at optimal condition, which means less energy is used to heat and cool your home. This can lower your energy bills, expand the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and lead to fewer repairs. 

We recommend two HVAC tune ups each year – once in the spring before summer and another during the fall before the arrival of winter weather. 

3. Upgrading Your Worn-Down, Inefficient HVAC Equipment 

Annoyingly, like every appliance, HVAC systems can't run forever and inevitably need to be replaced. Modern heaters and cooling products are much more effective than units sold just over a decade ago. Luckily, local HVAC companies like Struven Heating & Cooling can perform professional services including furnace installation in Crown Point.  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can last about 15-20 years. If your system is within that period of time, it might 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 about 15 years old and requires an expensive repair, it’s usually time to replace the system. As reported by the U.S. Department of Energy, upgrading to a new HVAC system could save you approximately 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll get back some of the costs of putting in a new system. 

 A professional heating and cooling technician can help you find the most energy efficient HVAC system on the market. As a general rule of thumb, look for HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, meaning the equipment meets firm guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are often some of the most efficient systems around, featuring both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is intended for heating systems and illustrates how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, on the other hand, is used to calculate the energy efficiency of cooling systems.  

Call a reputable HVAC provider like Struven Heating & Cooling for air conditioning installation in Crown Point. 

 4. Switch to More Energy-Efficient Air Filters 

The next time you’re searching for new HVAC filters, keep in mind that not all air filters are created equally. Certain 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 illustrated 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, though, that high-efficiency air filters can sometimes restrict airflow too much according to the type of HVAC system you own. It’s worthwhile to review the owner’s manual before getting a filter to find the best option for your system.