4 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

December 19, 2022

We can all benefit from saving money where we can. One of the easiest ways 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 equipment, leading to a more energy-efficient home and more affordable monthly energy bills.

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

1. Install a Smart Thermostat

If you still use a round-dial thermostat and adjust it manually, try taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which contains a number of features to improve your home's energy efficiency.

The feature homeowners enjoy the most is being able to adjust their smart thermostats from anywhere by using their smartphone or other smart device. For example, when you forget to use your thermostat before taking a vacation, you can simply use your smartphone and make any needed adjustments.

Similar to a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat allows you to schedule your home’s temperature determined by the time of day and day of the week so you’re not heating or cooling an empty house. Smart thermostats also have the capacity to learn your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient corrections. They can even generate monthly energy reports that illustrate how much energy you've used and when so you can make changes to save money.

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

2. HVAC Tune Ups

Unfortunately, lots of homeowners often forget about having their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this may not seem important, a lack of maintenance could result in a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan.

With an HVAC maintenance service, a heating and cooling technician will evaluate your HVAC system, clean important components, and pinpoint minor flaws before they create bigger, more expensive repair issues. Tune ups keep HVAC systems working at optimal condition, which means less energy is used to heat and cool your home. This will lower your energy bills, increase the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and lead to fewer repairs.

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

3. Upgrading Your Aging, Inefficient HVAC Equipment

Regretfully, like all appliances, HVAC systems don't last forever and inevitably need to be replaced. New heaters and cooling products are much more energy efficient than equipment sold just over a decade ago. Fortunately, local HVAC companies like Heartland Heating & Cooling can perform professional services such as furnace installation in Des Moines.

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can live about 15-20 years. If your system is within that span, it is often be a good idea to replace them now to prevent premature equipment failures that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your HVAC system is approaching 15 years old and needs an expensive repair, it’s usually time to replace it. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, getting a new HVAC system could save you between 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll recoup some of the costs of buying a new system.

A professional comfort technician can help you find the most energy efficient HVAC system for your needs. As a general rule of thumb, seek out 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 are 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 calculate the energy efficiency of air conditioning systems.

Contact a reputable HVAC provider like Heartland Heating & Cooling for air conditioning installation in Des Moines.

4. Use 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. Certain air filters are far more successful than others, resulting in lower energy bills and a clean home.

The effectiveness 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 worthwhile to note, though, that high-efficiency air filters can actually impede airflow too much depending on the type of HVAC system you installed. It’s important to study the owner’s manual before buying a filter to find the ideal model for your system.