We can all benefit from saving money from time to time. One of the simplest ways to do so is by improving energy efficiency in your home. Upgrading your HVAC equipment or putting in a smart thermostat, for example, gives you more control over your heating and cooling system, contributing to a more energy-efficient home and more affordable monthly energy bills.  

Keep reading 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 a round-dial thermostat and control it manually, consider taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which includes several features to assist with energy efficiency. 

The functionality homeowners appreciate the most is being able to adjust their smart thermostats from wherever with their smartphone or other smart device. For instance, in situations where you forget to adjust your thermostat before going on vacation, you can simply take out your smartphone and make the adjustments.  

Like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat allows you to schedule your home’s temperature according to the time of day and day of the week so you’re not heating or cooling an empty house. Smart thermostats also have the capability to understand your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient corrections. They even 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 wondering how to secure a free smart thermostat, ask your utility company to find out if there are any discounts or free smart thermostats available. 

2. HVAC Tune Ups 

Unfortunately, some homeowners often forget about having their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this may not seem like a huge deal, ignoring maintenance will sometimes produce a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan. 

With an HVAC maintenance service, the technician is going to examine your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and pinpoint minor problems before they create bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance can keep HVAC systems running in optimal condition, which means less energy is used to heat and cool your home. This could also reduce your energy bills, increase the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and lead to fewer repairs. 

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

3. Getting rid of Your Worn-Down, Inefficient HVAC Equipment 

Unfortunately, like every appliance, HVAC systems can't run forever and eventually need to be replaced. Modern heaters and cooling products are much more effective than equipment produced just over a decade ago. Fortunately, local HVAC companies like GLR Mechanical can offer professional services such as furnace installation in Wilkes Barre and Scranton.  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can run for approximately 15-20 years. If your system is within that period of time, it is often be a good idea to replace them early to minimize the risk of premature equipment failure that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your equipment is approaching 15 years old and has a problem that needs an expensive repair, it’s definitely time to replace it. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, upgrading to a new HVAC system can 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 heating and cooling technician can help you determine the most energy efficient HVAC system on the market. For the most part, try to find HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, meaning the equipment fulfills rigid guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are often some of the most efficient systems around, featuring 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 efficiency of air conditioning systems.  

Contact a reputable HVAC provider like GLR Mechanical for air conditioning installation in Wilkes Barre and Scranton. 

 4. Look for Energy-Efficient Air Filters 

If you’re searching for new HVAC filters, consider that not all air filters are the same. Some air filters are far more effective than others, contributing to lower energy bills and a cleaner home environment. 

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