We can all benefit from saving money from time to time. An easy way to accomplish this is by improving energy efficiency throughout your home. Upgrading your HVAC equipment or adding a smart thermostat, for example, provides more control over your HVAC system, contributing to a more energy-efficient home and savings on your monthly energy bills.  

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

 1. Try a Smart Thermostat  

If you still use a round-dial thermostat and access it manually, consider taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which includes numerous features to make your home more energy efficient. 

The functionality homeowners enjoy the most is having the ability to control their smart thermostats from anywhere through their smartphone or other smart device. As an example, if you forget to adjust your thermostat before going on 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 according to the time of day and day of the week so you’re not heating or cooling an empty house. Smart thermostats also offer the capability to watch your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient adjustments. They even provide monthly energy reports that illustrate how much energy you've used and when so you can make modifications to reduce costs.  

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

2. HVAC Tune Ups 

Regrettably, some homeowners often forget to keep their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this might not seem like a huge deal, inadequate maintenance could produce a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan. 

During an HVAC maintenance service, a heating and cooling technician will evaluate your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and catch minor issues before they create bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance keeps HVAC systems running in optimal condition, which means less energy is used to heat and cool your home. This could also lower your energy bills, expand the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs. 

We recommend two HVAC tune ups each year – one in the spring before summer and one during the fall before the arrival of winter weather. 

3. Getting rid of Your Old, Inefficient HVAC Equipment 

Regretfully, like all appliances, HVAC systems don't last forever and eventually need to be replaced. New heaters and cooling products are much more energy efficient than equipment produced just over a decade ago. Thankfully, quality HVAC companies like Pure Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning can handle professional services like furnace installation in Streamwood.  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can run for approximately 15-20 years. If your system is within that span, it can be a good idea to replace them ahead of time to avoid untimely equipment failures that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your system is about 15 years old and has a problem that needs an expensive repair, it’s definitely time to replace the unit. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, getting a new HVAC system can save you between 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll recover some of the costs of putting in a new system. 

 A professional comfort technician can help you find the most energy efficient HVAC system on the market. As a general rule of thumb, look for HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, indicating the equipment meets rigid guidelines set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems can be some of the most efficient systems around, 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 quantify the energy 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 High Efficiency Air Filters 

If you’re shopping for new HVAC filters, keep in mind that not all air filters are capable of providing the same results. Certain air filters are far more efficient than others, resulting in lower energy bills and a clean home. 

The effectiveness of HVAC air filters is scored 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 important to note, though, that high-efficiency air filters can sometimes impede airflow too much according to the type of HVAC system you have. It’s worthwhile to study the owner’s manual before getting a filter to determine the ideal model for your system.