We can all benefit from saving money from time to time. An easy way to do so is by making some energy-efficient changes throughout your home. Upgrading your HVAC equipment or installing a smart thermostat, for example, gives you more control over your heating and cooling system, contributing to 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. 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 contains several features to improve your home's energy efficiency. 

The function homeowners enjoy the most is being able to control their smart thermostats from anywhere through their smartphone or other smart device. For example, in situations where you forget to use your thermostat before going on vacation, you can just use your smartphone and make any needed adjustments.  

Just like 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 heating or cooling an empty house. Smart thermostats also feature the capability to watch your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient corrections. They even provide monthly energy reports that demonstrate how much energy you’re using and when so you can make adjustments to reduce costs.  

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

2. HVAC Tune Ups 

Unfortunately, many homeowners often forget to keep their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this might not seem like a huge deal, a lack of maintenance could result in a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan. 

With an HVAC maintenance service, the technician should examine your HVAC system, clean key components, and pinpoint minor issues before they create bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance can keep HVAC systems functioning at optimal condition, which means they use less energy to heat and cool your home. This can lower your energy bills, prolong the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and lead to fewer repairs. 

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

3. Getting rid of Your Old, Inefficient HVAC Equipment 

Regretfully, like all appliances, HVAC systems can't run forever and ultimately need to be replaced. Modern heaters and cooling systems are much more energy efficient than units produced just over 10 years ago. Luckily, local HVAC companies like Pure Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning can handle professional services such as furnace installation in Streamwood.  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can run for around 15-20 years. If the equipment is within that span, it is often be a good idea to replace them early to prevent premature breakdowns that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your HVAC system is approaching 15 years old and has a problem that needs an expensive repair, it’s usually time to replace it. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, upgrading to a new HVAC system can save you between 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 identify the most energy efficient HVAC system for your needs. For the most part, try to find 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 available, offering both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is used for heating systems and measures how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, in the meantime, is used to measure the efficiency of air conditioning systems.  

Contact a reputable HVAC provider like Pure Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning for air conditioning installation in Streamwood. 

 4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters 

If you’re searching for new HVAC filters, consider that not all air filters are created equally. Certain air filters are far more effective than others, resulting in lower energy bills and cleaner indoor air. 

The effectiveness of HVAC air filters is illustrated 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 relevant to note, however, that high-efficiency air filters can in fact restrict airflow too much depending on the type of HVAC system you have. It’s important to review the owner’s manual before buying a filter to determine the right one for your system.