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 improving energy efficiency throughout 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.

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

1. Install 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 includes a number of features to improve your home's energy efficiency.

The feature homeowners like the most is being able to adjust their smart thermostats from anywhere by using their smartphone or other smart device. For example, if you forget to adjust your thermostat before taking a vacation, you can simply use your smartphone and make the adjustments.

Similar to a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat enables 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 have the ability to watch your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient modifications. They can even generate monthly energy reports that demonstrate how much energy you are using and when so you can make adjustments to cut costs.

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

2. HVAC Tune Ups

Unfortunately, many homeowners often forget to have their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this may not seem like a problem, a lack of maintenance can result in a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan.

During an HVAC maintenance service, the technician is going to examine your HVAC system, clean key components, and identify minor flaws before they create 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 could also help with your energy bills, prolong 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 again in the fall before the arrival of frigid weather.

3. Upgrading Your Worn-Down, Inefficient HVAC Equipment

Unfortunately, like every appliance, HVAC systems don't last forever and ultimately need to be replaced. Modern heaters and cooling equipment is much more efficient than units produced just over 10 years ago. Luckily, helpful HVAC companies like Kapaun & Brown Inc. can offer professional services like furnace installation in Marshalltown.

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can live around 15-20 years. If the equipment is within that period of time, it can be a good idea to replace them now to prevent untimely equipment failure that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your equipment is around 15 years old and 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 can save you about 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll recoup some of the costs of buying a new system.

A professional HVAC technician can help you determine the most energy efficient HVAC system for your needs. For the most part, look for HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, meaning the equipment satisfies 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 illustrates how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, meanwhile, is used to calculate the efficiency of cooling equipment.

Contact a reputable HVAC provider like Kapaun & Brown Inc. for air conditioning installation in Marshalltown.

4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters

The next time you’re shopping for new HVAC filters, keep in mind that not all air filters are the same. Certain air filters are far more successful than others, contributing to lower energy bills and cleaner indoor air.

The efficiency of HVAC air filters is rated 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 worthwhile to note, however, that high-efficiency air filters can actually restrict airflow too much depending on the type of HVAC system you own. It’s beneficial to review the owner’s manual before purchasing a filter to determine the right one for your system.