We can all benefit from saving money where we can. One of the easiest ways to do this is by improving energy efficiency throughout your home. Upgrading your HVAC equipment or installing a smart thermostat, for example, offers more control over your HVAC equipment, contributing to a more energy-efficient home and savings on your monthly energy bills.  

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

 1. Use Smart Home Products Like a Smart Thermostat  

If you still use an older thermostat and adjust it manually, think about 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 functionality homeowners enjoy the most is having the capability to adjust their smart thermostats from anywhere with their smartphone or other smart device. For example, in situations where you forget to adjust your thermostat before taking a vacation, you can simply take out your smartphone and make the adjustments.  

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

If you’re curious about how to obtain a free smart thermostat, ask your utility company to find out if there are any discounts or free smart thermostats available. 

2. Regularly Scheduled Tune-Ups for Your HVAC System 

Unfortunately, many homeowners often forget to keep their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this does not seem like a huge deal, ignoring maintenance can produce a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan. 

During an HVAC maintenance service, your technician will inspect your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and identify minor issues before they lead to bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance keeps HVAC systems functioning at optimal condition, which means they use less energy to heat and cool your home. This could also reduce your energy bills, increase the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and lead to fewer repairs. 

We encourage two HVAC tune ups each year – once in the spring before summer and again in 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. Newer heaters and cooling products are much more energy efficient than equipment sold just over 10 years ago. Luckily, helpful HVAC companies like Haselhoff Air Solutions can handle professional services such as furnace installation in Ames.  

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 ahead of time to avoid premature equipment failures that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your system 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, installing a new HVAC system could 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 heating and cooling technician can help you identify the most energy efficient HVAC system available. As a general rule of thumb, try to find HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, indicating the equipment satisfies rigid guidelines set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems can be some of the most efficient systems on the market, offering both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is used for heating systems and illustrates how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, in the meantime, is used to quantify the energy efficiency of cooling equipment.  

Get in touch with a reputable HVAC provider like Haselhoff Air Solutions for air conditioning installation in Ames. 

 4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters 

When you’re looking for new HVAC filters, remember that not all air filters are created equally. Specific air filters are far more effective than others, leading to lower energy bills and a cleaner home environment. 

The performance 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 effective the filters are. It’s worthwhile to note, though, that high-efficiency air filters can actually obstruct airflow too much depending on the type of HVAC system you have. It’s beneficial to read the owner’s manual before buying a filter to find the right one for your system.