4 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

December 19, 2022

We can all benefit from saving a few bucks here and there. One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is by making some energy-efficient changes throughout your home. Upgrading your HVAC equipment or adding a smart thermostat, for example, offers more control over your heating and cooling system, resulting in a more energy-efficient home and lower monthly energy bills.

Continue below to read about 4 ways you can make energy-efficient home changes.

1. Install a Smart Thermostat

If you still use an older thermostat and control it manually, think about taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which includes numerous features to improve your home's energy efficiency.

The functionality homeowners like the most is having the ability to access their smart thermostats from wherever through their smartphone or other smart device. For example, when you forget to adjust your thermostat before taking a vacation, you can just pull out your smartphone and make the necessary adjustment.

Like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat allows you to pre-set your home’s temperature determined by the time of day and day of the week so you’re not cooling or heating an empty house. Smart thermostats also offer the capacity to learn your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient corrections. They can even generate monthly energy reports that demonstrate how much energy you’re using and when so you can make changes to save money.

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

2. HVAC Tune Ups

Regrettably, many homeowners often forget to have their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this might not seem important, inadequate maintenance could lead to a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan.

With an HVAC maintenance service, your technician will inspect your HVAC system, clean key components, and catch minor flaws before they create bigger, more expensive repair issues. Tune ups keep HVAC systems working at optimal condition, which means they use less energy to heat and cool your home. This will lower your energy bills, prolong the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs.

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

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

Annoyingly, like all appliances, HVAC systems have a shelf life and eventually need to be replaced. New heaters and cooling equipment is much more efficient than units manufactured just over 10 years ago. Luckily, local HVAC companies like Rapids Sheet Metal Works Inc can perform professional services such as furnace installation in Wisconsin Rapids.

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can last around 15-20 years. If your system is within that span, it might be a good idea to replace them now to minimize the risk of premature equipment failures that can leave you cold and uncomfortable if it’s a cold winter night. If your system is approaching 15 years old and needs an expensive repair, it’s usually 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 get back some of the costs of putting in a new system.

A professional comfort technician can help you identify the most energy efficient HVAC system available. For the most part, try to find HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, indicating the equipment meets firm guidelines made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems can be some of the most efficient systems around, featuring both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is for heating systems and illustrates how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, meanwhile, is used to measure the energy efficiency of air conditioning systems.

Get in touch with a reputable HVAC provider like Rapids Sheet Metal Works Inc for air conditioning installation in Wisconsin Rapids.

4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters

When you’re searching for new HVAC filters, consider that not all air filters are the same. Specific air filters are far more successful than others, resulting in lower energy bills and cleaner indoor air.

The effectiveness 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 restrict airflow too much based on the type of HVAC system you own. It’s important to read the owner’s manual before purchasing a filter to find the ideal model for your system.