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4 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

December 19, 2022

We can all benefit from saving money here and there. An easy way to do so is by improving energy efficiency throughout your home. Upgrading your HVAC equipment or putting in a smart thermostat, for example, gives you more control over your HVAC system, contributing 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 access it manually, try taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which comes with numerous features to assist with energy efficiency.

The function homeowners appreciate the most is being able to access their smart thermostats from anywhere by using their smartphone or other smart device. For example, in situations where you forget to change your thermostat before leaving for vacation, you can just use your smartphone and make the necessary adjustment.

Just like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat permits 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 feature the capacity to learn your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient corrections. They also create monthly energy reports that illustrate how much energy you’re using and when so you can make modifications to cut costs.

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

2. HVAC Tune Ups

Sadly, lots of homeowners often forget about having their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this does not seem important, ignoring maintenance will sometimes lead to a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan.

When performing an HVAC maintenance service, the technician should examine your HVAC system, clean key components, and pinpoint minor issues before they produce 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 will help with your energy bills, prolong the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs.

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

3. Replacing Your Aging, Inefficient HVAC Equipment

Annoyingly, like every appliance, HVAC systems can't run forever and eventually need to be replaced. Modern heaters and cooling products are much more efficient than units produced just over 10 years ago. Luckily, helpful HVAC companies like Contra Costa Heating & AC can handle professional services including furnace installation in the Bay Area.

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can last around 15-20 years. If your system is within that period of time, it can be a good idea to replace them early to minimize the risk of premature equipment failures 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 almost always time to replace the unit. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, getting 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 installing a new system.

A professional HVAC technician can help you determine the most energy efficient HVAC system for your needs. As a general rule of thumb, look for HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, which means the equipment meets firm guidelines set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems can be some of the most efficient systems on the market, 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.

Contact a reputable HVAC provider like Contra Costa Heating & AC for air conditioning installation in the Bay Area.

4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters

When you’re searching for new HVAC filters, keep in mind that not all air filters are capable of providing the same results. Some air filters are far more effective than others, contributing to 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 efficient the filters are. It’s relevant 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 beneficial to study the owner’s manual before getting a filter to find the ideal model for your system.