We can all benefit from saving a few bucks where we can. An easy way to accomplish this is by improving energy efficiency in your home. Upgrading your HVAC system or adding a smart thermostat, for example, provides more control over your HVAC system, contributing to a more energy-efficient home and more affordable monthly energy bills.  

Read on to read about 4 ways you can make energy-efficient home enhancements. 

 1. Install Smart Home Products Like a Smart Thermostat  

If you still use an older thermostat and control it manually, consider taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which includes numerous features to improve your home's energy efficiency. 

The functionality homeowners enjoy the most is having the capability to control their smart thermostats from wherever with their smartphone or other smart device. For instance, if you forget to use your thermostat before leaving for vacation, you can just use your smartphone and make any needed adjustments.  

Like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat allows you to set up a schedule for your home’s temperature according to 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 understand your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient corrections. They also create monthly energy reports that show how much energy you are using and when so you can make changes to reduce costs.  

If you’re wondering how to obtain a free smart thermostat, talk to 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 about having their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this does not seem like a problem, ignoring maintenance will sometimes result in a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan. 

During an HVAC maintenance service, the technician should examine your HVAC system, clean important components, and pinpoint minor issues before they create bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance can keep HVAC systems running in optimal condition, which means less energy is needed to heat and cool your home. This can help with your energy bills, increase the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and lead to fewer repairs. 

We suggest two HVAC tune ups each year – one in the spring before summer and another in the fall before the arrival of frigid weather. 

3. Getting rid of Your Aging, Inefficient HVAC Equipment 

Annoyingly, like any appliance, HVAC systems have a shelf life and ultimately need to be replaced. New heaters and cooling products are much more energy efficient than units produced just over a decade ago. Fortunately, local HVAC companies like Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. can handle professional services like furnace installation in Rio Grande Valley.  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can last approximately 15-20 years. If your systems are within that timeframe, it is often be a good idea to replace them now to minimize the risk of premature equipment failure 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 usually time to replace the system. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, upgrading to a new HVAC system can save you about 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll get back some of the costs of putting in a new system. 

 A professional heating and cooling technician can help you find the most energy efficient HVAC system available. For the most part, seek out HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, which means the equipment fulfills strict guidelines set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are some of the most efficient systems around, boasting both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is used for heating systems and illustrates how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, on the other hand, is used to measure the energy efficiency of cooling systems.  

Call a reputable HVAC provider like Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. for air conditioning installation in Rio Grande Valley. 

 4. Switch to More Energy-Efficient Air Filters 

The next time you’re searching for new HVAC filters, keep in mind that not all air filters are the same. Specific air filters are far more effective than others, resulting in lower energy bills and cleaner indoor air. 

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