4 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

December 19, 2022

We can all benefit from saving a few bucks from time to time. One of the easiest ways to do this is by identifying energy inefficiencies throughout your home. Upgrading your HVAC equipment or installing 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.

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

1. Install a Smart Thermostat

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

The feature homeowners appreciate the most is being able to adjust their smart thermostats from anywhere they want with their smartphone or other smart device. For instance, in situations where you forget to adjust your thermostat before going on vacation, you can simply pull out your smartphone and make any needed adjustments.

Just like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat allows you to pre-set your home’s temperature according to the time of day and day of the week so you’re not cooling or heating an empty house. Smart thermostats also feature the capacity to watch your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient modifications. They can even generate monthly energy reports that illustrate how much energy you are using and when so you can make modifications to reduce costs.

If you’re curious about how to obtain 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, some homeowners often forget about having their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this does not seem like a huge deal, ignoring maintenance could produce a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan.

During an HVAC maintenance service, your technician should examine your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and catch minor issues before they produce bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance keeps HVAC systems running in optimal condition, which means less energy is needed 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 recommend two HVAC tune ups each year – once in the spring before summer and one during the fall before the arrival of cold weather.

3. Upgrading Your Old, Inefficient HVAC Equipment

Annoyingly, like all appliances, HVAC systems can't run forever and eventually need to be replaced. Newer heaters and cooling equipment is much more effective than units manufactured just over 10 years ago. Luckily, helpful HVAC companies like Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can perform professional services like furnace installation in Greater Richmond.

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can run for around 15-20 years. If the equipment is within that timeframe, it can be a good idea to replace them now to avoid premature equipment failures that can leave you cold and uncomfortable if it’s a cold winter night. If your HVAC system is about 15 years old and has a problem that needs an expensive repair, it’s usually time to replace the unit. According to 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 recover some of the costs of putting in a new system.

A professional comfort technician can help you identify the most energy efficient HVAC system on the market. For the most part, seek out HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, which means the equipment fulfills firm guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are often some of the most efficient systems on the market, featuring both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is used for heating systems and measures how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, in the meantime, is used to calculate the energy efficiency of cooling equipment.

Get in touch with a reputable HVAC provider like Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for air conditioning installation in Greater Richmond.

4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters

When you’re looking for new HVAC filters, consider that not all air filters are created equally. Some air filters are far more successful than others, resulting in lower energy bills and a cleaner home environment.

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 actually obstruct airflow too much according to the type of HVAC system you installed. It’s worthwhile to read the owner’s manual before buying a filter to determine the best option for your system.