We can all benefit from saving money here and there. An easy way to accomplish this is by making some energy-efficient changes in your home. Upgrading your HVAC system or putting in a smart thermostat, for example, offers more control over your HVAC system, contributing to a more energy-efficient home and savings on your monthly energy bills.
Keep reading to learn more about 4 ways you can make energy-efficient home improvements.
1. Install a Smart Thermostat
If you still use an older thermostat and access it manually, consider taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which comes with numerous features to make your home more energy efficient.
The functionality homeowners appreciate the most is having the capability to control their smart thermostats from anywhere they want by using their smartphone or other smart device. For instance, when you forget to adjust your thermostat before going on vacation, you can simply take out your smartphone and make any needed adjustments.
Just like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat allows you to schedule your home’s temperature based on the time of day and day of the week so you’re not heating or cooling an empty house. Smart thermostats also offer the capacity to understand your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient modifications. They can even provide monthly energy reports that illustrate how much energy you've used and when so you can make changes to reduce costs.
If you’re wondering how to secure a free smart thermostat, check with your utility company to learn if there are any discounts or free smart thermostats available to you.
2. HVAC Tune Ups
Regrettably, some homeowners often forget to keep their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this may not seem like a problem, inadequate maintenance will sometimes lead to a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan.
During an HVAC maintenance service, a heating and cooling technician should inspect your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and identify minor flaws before they produce bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance can keep HVAC systems functioning at optimal condition, which means less energy is needed to heat and cool your home. This can lower your energy bills, expand the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and lead to fewer repairs.
We suggest two HVAC tune ups every year – once in the spring before summer and again during the fall before the arrival of winter weather.
3. Getting rid of Your Worn-Down, Inefficient HVAC Equipment
Annoyingly, like all appliances, HVAC systems don't last forever and eventually need to be replaced. New heaters and cooling systems are much more energy efficient than models manufactured just over 10 years ago. Thankfully, quality HVAC companies like Three Rivers Heating & Cooling can handle professional services such as furnace installation in Portland.
Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can live approximately 15-20 years. If your system is within that span, it might be a good idea to replace them early to avoid untimely breakdowns that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your system is around 15 years old and needs an expensive repair, it’s definitely time to replace the unit. As reported by the U.S. Department of Energy, upgrading to a new HVAC system could save you between 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll recoup some of the costs of installing a new system.
A professional HVAC technician can help you find the most energy efficient HVAC system for your needs. As a general rule of thumb, look for HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, which means the equipment satisfies firm guidelines made 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 intended for heating systems and illustrates how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, in the meantime, is used to calculate the efficiency of cooling equipment.
Get in touch with a reputable HVAC provider like Three Rivers Heating & Cooling for air conditioning installation in Portland.
4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters
If you’re searching for new HVAC filters, keep in mind that not all air filters are the same. Specific air filters are far more effective than others, resulting in lower energy bills and cleaner indoor air.
The efficiency 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 effective the filters are. It’s relevant to note, though, that high-efficiency air filters can sometimes obstruct airflow too much based on the type of HVAC system you own. It’s beneficial to study the owner’s manual before buying a filter to find the right one for your system.