We can all benefit from saving money from time to time. One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is by making some energy-efficient changes throughout your home. Upgrading your HVAC equipment or putting in a smart thermostat, for example, gives you more control over your HVAC equipment, resulting in 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 enhancements. 

 1. Try Smart Home Products Like 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 includes a number of features to make your home more energy efficient. 

The function homeowners like the most is being able to adjust their smart thermostats from wherever through their smartphone or other smart device. As an example, in situations where you forget to use your thermostat before going on vacation, you can simply take out your smartphone and make the necessary adjustment.  

Similar to a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat enables you to pre-set your home’s temperature based on 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 understand your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient modifications. They also provide monthly energy reports that show how much energy you are using and when so you can make changes to cut costs.  

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

2. HVAC Tune Ups 

Regrettably, many homeowners often forget about having their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this does not seem like a huge deal, inadequate maintenance can produce 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 important components, and identify minor issues before they create bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance can keep HVAC systems working at optimal condition, which means they use less energy to heat and cool your home. This will reduce your energy bills, increase the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs. 

We suggest two HVAC tune ups annually – once during the spring before summer and another during the fall before the arrival of winter weather. 

3. Replacing Your Worn-Down, Inefficient HVAC Equipment 

Annoyingly, like any appliance, HVAC systems don't last forever and ultimately need to be replaced. Newer heaters and cooling products are much more efficient than units manufactured just over a decade ago. Fortunately, local HVAC companies like Ohler & Holzhauer Inc. can offer professional services such as furnace installation in Port Clinton.  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can run for approximately 15-20 years. If your systems are within that period of time, it can be a good idea to replace them ahead of time to minimize the risk of untimely equipment failure that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your equipment is around 15 years old and requires an expensive repair, it’s definitely time to replace the unit. As reported by the U.S. Department of Energy, getting a new HVAC system can save you approximately 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll get back some of the costs of buying a new system. 

 A professional HVAC technician can help you determine the most energy efficient HVAC system available. In general, seek out HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, which means the equipment meets strict guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems can be some of the most efficient systems available, boasting both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is for heating systems and measures how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, on the other hand, is used to calculate the energy efficiency of cooling systems.  

Contact a reputable HVAC provider like Ohler & Holzhauer Inc. for air conditioning installation in Port Clinton. 

 4. Switch to More Energy-Efficient Air Filters 

If you’re looking for new HVAC filters, consider that not all air filters are capable of providing the same results. Some air filters are far more successful than others, contributing to lower energy bills and a clean home. 

The performance 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 important to note, however, that high-efficiency air filters can sometimes impede airflow too much according to the type of HVAC system you installed. It’s beneficial to study the owner’s manual before purchasing a filter to determine the ideal model for your system.