HVAC technician showing a homeowner how to adjust her smart thermostat from her phone

We can all benefit from saving a few bucks here and there. One of the simplest ways to do this is by identifying energy inefficiencies in your home. Upgrading your HVAC system or putting in a smart thermostat, for example, gives you more control over your HVAC equipment, resulting in a more energy-efficient home and more affordable monthly energy bills.  

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

 1. Look for a Smart Thermostat  

If you still use a round-dial thermostat and control it manually, think about taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which contains a number of features to assist with energy efficiency. 

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

Similar to a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat permits you to schedule 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 ability to watch your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient modifications. They even provide monthly energy reports that show how much energy you are using and when so you can make adjustments to save money.  

If you’re wanting to know how to get a free smart thermostat, talk to your utility company to see if there are any discounts or free smart thermostats available. 

2. HVAC Tune Ups 

Regrettably, some homeowners often forget to have their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this does not seem like a problem, ignoring maintenance could 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 identify minor problems before they create bigger, more expensive repair issues. Tune ups keep HVAC systems functioning at optimal condition, which means less energy is used to heat and cool your home. This could also help with your energy bills, expand the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs. 

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

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

Regretfully, like all appliances, HVAC systems can't run forever and inevitably need to be replaced. Modern heaters and cooling products are much more efficient than units produced just over a decade ago. Fortunately, quality HVAC companies like Bishop’s HVAC can handle professional services including furnace installation in .  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can last around 15-20 years. If your systems are within that span, it might be a good idea to replace them early to minimize the risk of premature breakdowns that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your equipment is approaching 15 years old and has a problem that needs an expensive repair, it’s definitely time to replace the system. As reported by the U.S. Department of Energy, upgrading to a new HVAC system could save you about 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll recover some of the costs of buying a new system. 

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

Contact a reputable HVAC provider like Bishop’s HVAC for air conditioning installation in . 

 4. Switch to More High Efficiency 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, leading to lower energy bills and cleaner indoor air. 

The performance of HVAC air filters is illustrated by their Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV rating. The MERV scale ranges from 1-20; the higher the number, the more efficient the filters are. It’s important to note, however, that high-efficiency air filters can actually obstruct airflow too much according to the type of HVAC system you have. It’s beneficial to review the owner’s manual before getting a filter to find the right one for your system.