We can all benefit from saving money here and there. One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is by improving energy efficiency around your home. Upgrading your HVAC equipment or installing a smart thermostat, for example, offers more control over your HVAC system, leading to a more energy-efficient home and savings on your monthly energy bills.  

Read on to read 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, consider taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which comes with several features to assist with energy efficiency. 

The feature homeowners appreciate the most is having the capability to control their smart thermostats from anywhere they want through their smartphone or other smart device. For instance, in situations where you forget to use your thermostat before taking a vacation, you can just 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 cooling or heating an empty house. Smart thermostats also feature the ability to understand your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient corrections. They also generate monthly energy reports that illustrate how much energy you are using and when so you can make changes to reduce costs.  

If you’re wondering how to secure a free smart thermostat, check with your utility company to learn if there are any discounts or free smart thermostats offered. 

2. Routine HVAC Maintenance 

Unfortunately, many homeowners often forget to have their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this may not seem like a problem, a lack of maintenance will sometimes result in a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan. 

When performing an HVAC maintenance service, your technician will inspect your HVAC system, clean key components, and pinpoint minor problems before they produce bigger, more expensive repair issues. Tune ups keep HVAC systems functioning at optimal condition, which means less energy is used to heat and cool your home. This could also help with your energy bills, expand the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and lead 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 frigid weather. 

3. Replacing Your Aging, Inefficient HVAC Equipment 

Regretfully, like any appliance, HVAC systems can't run forever and eventually need to be replaced. New heaters and cooling products are much more efficient than units sold just over a decade ago. Fortunately, helpful HVAC companies like Contra Costa Heating & AC can handle professional services such as furnace installation in The Bay Area.  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can run for around 15-20 years. If your systems are within that timeframe, it can be a good idea to replace them ahead of time to avoid premature equipment failure that can leave you cold and uncomfortable if it’s a cold winter night. If your system is about 15 years old and has a problem that needs an expensive repair, it’s usually time to replace the unit. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, getting a new HVAC system can sometimes save you about 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. In general, try to find HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, meaning the equipment fulfills rigid guidelines set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems can be some of the most efficient systems around, boasting both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is for heating systems and measures how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, in the meantime, is used to quantify the efficiency of air conditioning systems.  

Get in touch with a reputable HVAC provider like Contra Costa Heating & AC for air conditioning installation in The Bay Area. 

 4. Switch to More High Efficiency Air Filters 

The next time you’re searching for new HVAC filters, remember that not all air filters are capable of providing the same results. Some air filters are far more successful than others, leading to lower energy bills and cleaner indoor air. 

The efficiency of HVAC air filters is rated 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 restrict airflow too much depending on the type of HVAC system you own. It’s important to study the owner’s manual before getting a filter to find the ideal model for your system.