4 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

December 19, 2022

We can all benefit from saving money here and there. One of the simplest ways to do so is by improving energy efficiency in your home. Upgrading your HVAC system or installing a smart thermostat, for example, offers more control over your HVAC system, resulting in a more energy-efficient home and lower monthly energy bills.

Continue below to read about 4 ways you can make energy-efficient home changes.

1. Install a Smart Thermostat

If you still use an older thermostat and control it manually, think about taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which contains numerous features to improve your home's energy efficiency.

The feature homeowners appreciate the most is being able to control their smart thermostats from wherever through their smartphone or other smart device. For instance, if you forget to use your thermostat before going on vacation, you can simply take out your smartphone and make any needed adjustments.

Similar to a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat permits you to set up a schedule for your home’s temperature according to the time of day and day of the week so you’re not spending energy on an empty house. Smart thermostats also have the capacity to learn your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient adjustments. They also create monthly energy reports that show how much energy you are using and when so you can make adjustments to cut costs.

If you’re curious about how to get 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

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

When performing an HVAC maintenance service, the technician will examine your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and catch 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 suggest two HVAC tune ups every year – once in the spring before summer and again during the fall before the arrival of cold weather.

3. Getting rid of Your Old, Inefficient HVAC Equipment

Unfortunately, like all appliances, HVAC systems can't run forever and inevitably need to be replaced. New heaters and cooling products are much more energy efficient than models produced just over a decade ago. Fortunately, quality HVAC companies like Street Heating and Cooling can perform professional services such as furnace installation in Rapid City.

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can last approximately 15-20 years. If your systems are within that span, it can be a good idea to replace them ahead of time to prevent untimely breakdowns that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your system is approaching 15 years old and requires an expensive repair, it’s almost always time to replace the system. As reported by the U.S. Department of Energy, upgrading to a new HVAC system could save you approximately 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll recover some of the costs of putting in a new system.

A professional comfort technician can help you find the most energy efficient HVAC system for your needs. In general, look for HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, which means the equipment satisfies strict guidelines set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are often some of the most efficient systems available, 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 efficiency of cooling systems.

Call a reputable HVAC provider like Street Heating and Cooling for air conditioning installation in Rapid City.

4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters

If you’re shopping for new HVAC filters, keep in mind that not all air filters are the same. Specific air filters are far more effective than others, resulting in lower energy bills and a cleaner home environment.

The performance of HVAC air filters is scored 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, however, that high-efficiency air filters can actually restrict airflow too much according to the type of HVAC system you own. It’s important to read the owner’s manual before getting a filter to find the best option for your system.