We can all benefit from saving a few bucks from time to time. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by making some energy-efficient changes in your home. Upgrading your HVAC system or adding a smart thermostat, for example, provides more control over your heating and cooling system, leading to a more energy-efficient home and savings on your monthly energy bills.  

Read on to learn more about 4 ways you can make energy-efficient home improvements. 

 1. Install a Smart Thermostat  

If you still use an older thermostat and adjust it manually, consider taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which contains numerous features to assist with energy efficiency. 

The functionality homeowners like the most is having the capability to control their smart thermostats from anywhere through their smartphone or other smart device. For example, if you forget to change your thermostat before taking a vacation, you can just take out your smartphone and make the adjustments.  

Like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat permits you to pre-set your home’s temperature determined by the time of day and day of the week so you’re not spending energy on an empty house. Smart thermostats also feature the capability to watch your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient modifications. They also create monthly energy reports that illustrate how much energy you've used and when so you can make changes to save money.  

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

2. HVAC Tune Ups 

Regrettably, many homeowners often forget to keep their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this might not seem like a problem, ignoring maintenance will sometimes produce a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan. 

During an HVAC maintenance service, a heating and cooling technician should examine your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and identify minor problems before they produce bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance keeps HVAC systems running in optimal condition, which means they use less energy to heat and cool your home. This can reduce your energy bills, increase the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs. 

We encourage two HVAC tune ups every year – one during the spring before summer and another during the fall before the arrival of winter weather. 

3. Replacing Your Aging, Inefficient HVAC Equipment 

Regretfully, like all appliances, HVAC systems can't run forever and ultimately need to be replaced. Newer heaters and cooling equipment is much more effective than units sold just over a decade ago. Thankfully, local HVAC companies like Mechanical Air Systems Co can perform professional services such as furnace installation in Mason City.  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can live around 15-20 years. If the equipment is within that span, it might be a good idea to replace them now to avoid untimely breakdowns that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your system is around 15 years old and requires an expensive repair, it’s usually time to replace the system. As reported by 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 get back some of the costs of putting in a new system. 

 A professional HVAC technician can help you determine the most energy efficient HVAC system available. For the most part, seek out HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, meaning the equipment satisfies rigid guidelines made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are some of the most efficient systems on the market, boasting both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is intended for heating systems and measures how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, on the other hand, is used to quantify the energy efficiency of cooling equipment.  

Get in touch with a reputable HVAC provider like Mechanical Air Systems Co for air conditioning installation in Mason City. 

 4. Look for Energy-Efficient Air Filters 

The next time you’re looking for new HVAC filters, consider that not all air filters are created equally. Specific air filters are far more successful than others, contributing to lower energy bills and a clean home. 

The efficiency of HVAC air filters is rated 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 worthwhile to note, however, that high-efficiency air filters can actually impede airflow too much according to the type of HVAC system you own. It’s important to review the owner’s manual before purchasing a filter to find the ideal model for your system.