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

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

 1. Look for Smart Home Products Like a Smart Thermostat  

If you still use a round-dial thermostat and adjust it manually, think about taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which comes with numerous features to improve your home's energy efficiency. 

The functionality homeowners appreciate the most is having the ability to control their smart thermostats from anywhere with their smartphone or other smart device. As an example, when you forget to use your thermostat before taking a vacation, you can easily take out your smartphone and make any needed adjustments.  

Similar to a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat enables you to pre-set your home’s temperature determined by the time of day and day of the week so you’re not cooling or heating an empty house. Smart thermostats also have the capability to learn your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient adjustments. They also generate monthly energy reports that illustrate how much energy you are using and when so you can make modifications to save money.  

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

2. Regularly Scheduled Tune-Ups for Your HVAC System 

Sadly, some homeowners often forget to keep their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this might not seem important, ignoring maintenance can result in a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan. 

During an HVAC maintenance service, the technician will evaluate your HVAC system, clean important 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 needed to heat and cool your home. This can reduce your energy bills, expand the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs. 

We recommend two HVAC tune ups annually – once in the spring before summer and another during the fall before the arrival of frigid weather. 

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

Regretfully, like any appliance, HVAC systems can't run forever and inevitably need to be replaced. Newer heaters and cooling products are much more energy efficient than units manufactured just over a decade ago. Luckily, quality HVAC companies like Bishop Heating & Air Conditioning can handle professional services like furnace installation in Bishop.  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can live approximately 15-20 years. If your system is within that timeframe, it can be a good idea to replace them now to minimize the risk of untimely equipment failures that can leave you cold and uncomfortable if it’s a cold winter night. If your equipment is approaching 15 years old and needs an expensive repair, it’s usually time to replace the system. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, installing a new HVAC system can sometimes save you approximately 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 on the market. In general, look for HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, which means the equipment meets strict guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are often some of the most efficient systems around, offering both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is for heating systems and measures how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, meanwhile, is used to measure the energy efficiency of cooling equipment.  

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

 4. Look for High Efficiency Air Filters 

If you’re searching for new HVAC filters, keep in mind that not all air filters are the same. Certain air filters are far more effective than others, leading to lower energy bills and a clean home. 

The efficiency 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, 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 study the owner’s manual before getting a filter to find the best option for your system.