We can all benefit from saving a few bucks here and there. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by identifying energy inefficiencies around your home. Upgrading your HVAC system or installing a smart thermostat, for example, offers more control over your heating and cooling system, contributing to a more energy-efficient home and lower monthly energy bills.  

Keep reading to read about 4 ways you can make energy-efficient home improvements. 

 1. Use Smart Home Products Like a Smart Thermostat  

If you still use an older thermostat and adjust it manually, consider taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which contains a number of features to make your home more energy efficient. 

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

Just like 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 feature 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've used and when so you can make modifications to save money.  

If you’re curious about 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. Regularly Scheduled Tune-Ups for Your HVAC System 

Sadly, some homeowners often forget about having their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this does not seem like a problem, inadequate maintenance could result in a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan. 

During an HVAC maintenance service, a heating and cooling technician should evaluate your HVAC system, clean key components, and identify minor problems before they lead to bigger, more expensive repair issues. Tune ups keep HVAC systems functioning at optimal condition, which means they use less energy to heat and cool your home. This will reduce your energy bills, increase the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and lead to fewer repairs. 

We encourage two HVAC tune ups annually – one during the spring before summer and another in the fall before the arrival of cold weather. 

3. Replacing Your Worn-Down, Inefficient HVAC Equipment 

Regretfully, like any appliance, HVAC systems can't run forever and inevitably need to be replaced. Newer heaters and cooling systems are much more energy efficient than models manufactured just over 10 years ago. Fortunately, local HVAC companies like SKC AC LLC can handle professional services such as furnace installation in Big Spring.  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can last around 15-20 years. If your systems are within that timeframe, it is often be a good idea to replace them ahead of time to avoid untimely equipment failures that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your equipment is approaching 15 years old and needs an expensive repair, it’s almost always time to replace the system. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, installing a new HVAC system can save you approximately 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll get back some of the costs of installing a new system. 

 A professional comfort technician can help you determine the most energy efficient HVAC system available. As a general rule of thumb, look for HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, indicating the equipment satisfies firm guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are some of the most efficient systems available, boasting both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is intended for heating systems and measures how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, on the other hand, is used to quantify the energy efficiency of air conditioning systems.  

Contact a reputable HVAC provider like SKC AC LLC for air conditioning installation in Big Spring. 

 4. Switch to More High Efficiency Air Filters 

The next time you’re looking for new HVAC filters, keep in mind that not all air filters are capable of providing the same results. Certain air filters are far more effective than others, leading to lower energy bills and cleaner indoor air. 

The efficiency 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 efficient the filters are. It’s relevant to note, though, that high-efficiency air filters can in fact obstruct airflow too much according to the type of HVAC system you own. It’s worthwhile to read the owner’s manual before getting a filter to determine the right one for your system.