We can all benefit from saving a few bucks here and there. One of the easiest ways to do this is by identifying energy inefficiencies around your home. Upgrading your HVAC equipment or installing a smart thermostat, for example, provides more control over your HVAC system, leading to a more energy-efficient home and savings on your monthly energy bills.  

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

 1. Install 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 several features to make your home more energy efficient. 

The functionality homeowners like the most is being able to access their smart thermostats from anywhere through their smartphone or other smart device. For example, if you forget to change your thermostat before leaving for vacation, you can simply take out your smartphone and make the necessary adjustment.  

Like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat enables you to set up a schedule for 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 have the capacity to watch your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient modifications. They even provide monthly energy reports that illustrate how much energy you've used and when so you can make changes to cut costs.  

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

2. HVAC Tune Ups 

Unfortunately, some homeowners often forget about having their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this does not seem like a huge deal, a lack of maintenance will sometimes result in a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan. 

With an HVAC maintenance service, the technician will examine your HVAC system, clean key components, and catch minor issues before they create bigger, more expensive repair issues. Tune ups keep 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, expand the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and lead to fewer repairs. 

We recommend two HVAC tune ups annually – one in the spring before summer and one in the fall before the arrival of cold weather. 

3. Upgrading Your Aging, Inefficient HVAC Equipment 

Regretfully, like every appliance, HVAC systems don't last forever and ultimately need to be replaced. Modern heaters and cooling products are much more efficient than models manufactured just over a decade ago. Luckily, quality HVAC companies like Bishop Heating & Air Conditioning can handle professional services including furnace installation in .  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can last about 15-20 years. If the equipment is within that timeframe, it can be a good idea to replace them early to avoid premature breakdowns that can leave you cold and uncomfortable if it’s a cold winter night. If your system is about 15 years old and needs an expensive repair, it’s usually time to replace the unit. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, installing a new HVAC system can sometimes save you about 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll recover some of the costs of putting in a new system. 

 A professional HVAC technician can help you identify the most energy efficient HVAC system for your needs. For the most part, look for HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, which means the equipment fulfills rigid guidelines made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are some of the most efficient systems on the market, boasting both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is for heating systems and measures how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, on the other hand, is used to quantify the efficiency of cooling equipment.  

Contact a reputable HVAC provider like Bishop Heating & Air Conditioning for air conditioning installation in . 

 4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters 

When you’re searching for new HVAC filters, remember that not all air filters are capable of providing the same results. Specific air filters are far more efficient than others, leading to lower energy bills and a cleaner home environment. 

The effectiveness 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 worthwhile to note, however, that high-efficiency air filters can in fact impede airflow too much according to the type of HVAC system you own. It’s beneficial to read the owner’s manual before purchasing a filter to determine the ideal model for your system.