4 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

December 19, 2022

We can all benefit from saving a few bucks from time to time. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by improving energy efficiency around your home. Upgrading your HVAC equipment or installing a smart thermostat, for example, provides more control over your HVAC equipment, contributing 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 an older thermostat and control it manually, consider 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 function homeowners appreciate the most is having the ability to control their smart thermostats from wherever by using their smartphone or other smart device. For example, in situations where you forget to use your thermostat before leaving for vacation, you can simply take out your smartphone and make the necessary adjustment.

Just like 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 feature the ability to learn your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient modifications. They even create monthly energy reports that illustrate how much energy you've used and when so you can make changes to reduce costs.

If you’re curious about how to obtain a free smart thermostat, talk to your utility company to see if there are any discounts or free smart thermostats offered.

2. HVAC Tune Ups

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

With an HVAC maintenance service, your technician is going to inspect your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and pinpoint minor flaws before they lead to bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance keeps HVAC systems working at optimal condition, which means less energy is needed to heat and cool your home. This can lower your energy bills, expand the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and lead to fewer repairs.

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

3. Replacing Your Aging, Inefficient HVAC Equipment

Unfortunately, like every appliance, HVAC systems don't last forever and inevitably need to be replaced. New heaters and cooling equipment is much more effective than models manufactured just over a decade ago. Luckily, quality HVAC companies like Ilten's Incorporated can perform professional services including furnace installation in Cedar Rapids.

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can last approximately 15-20 years. If your system is within that span, it can be a good idea to replace them ahead of time to prevent premature breakdowns that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your HVAC system is approaching 15 years old and has a problem that needs an expensive repair, it’s definitely time to replace the unit. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, installing a new HVAC system could save you approximately 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll recoup some of the costs of putting in a new system.

A professional heating and cooling technician can help you find the most energy efficient HVAC system on the market. In general, seek out HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, indicating the equipment satisfies rigid guidelines set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are some of the most efficient systems available, featuring both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is used for heating systems and illustrates how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, meanwhile, is used to measure the energy efficiency of air conditioning systems.

Call a reputable HVAC provider like Ilten's Incorporated for air conditioning installation in Cedar Rapids.

4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters

The next time you’re looking for new HVAC filters, consider that not all air filters are the same. Some air filters are far more successful than others, resulting in 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 between 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 restrict airflow too much based on the type of HVAC system you own. It’s beneficial to study the owner’s manual before getting a filter to find the ideal model for your system.