4 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

December 19, 2022

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 system or installing a smart thermostat, for example, gives you more control over your heating and cooling system, leading to 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 a round-dial thermostat and access it manually, consider taking a step toward the future by installing a smart, or Wi-Fi, thermostat – which includes a number of features to improve your home's energy efficiency.

The functionality homeowners appreciate the most is being able to control their smart thermostats from anywhere they want with their smartphone or other smart device. For example, when you forget to use your thermostat before leaving for vacation, you can simply use your smartphone and make the adjustments.

Just like 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 spending energy on an empty house. Smart thermostats also feature the capacity to learn your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient adjustments. They can even provide monthly energy reports that demonstrate how much energy you are using and when so you can make changes to save money.

If you’re curious about how to obtain 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

Regrettably, some homeowners often forget to keep their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this might not seem like a huge deal, a lack of maintenance could produce a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan.

When performing an HVAC maintenance service, a heating and cooling technician is going to inspect your HVAC system, clean important components, and identify minor problems before they lead to bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance can keep HVAC systems running in optimal condition, which means they use less energy to heat and cool your home. This could also reduce your energy bills, increase the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs.

We recommend two HVAC tune ups every year – once during the spring before summer and again during the fall before the arrival of cold weather.

3. Upgrading Your Worn-Down, Inefficient HVAC Equipment

Unfortunately, like every appliance, HVAC systems have a shelf life and inevitably need to be replaced. New heaters and cooling products are much more energy efficient than units produced just over a decade ago. Thankfully, local HVAC companies like Lakeside Heating & Air can handle professional services like furnace installation in Chelan and Wenatchee.

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can last around 15-20 years. If your system is within that span, it can be a good idea to replace them now to minimize the risk of untimely breakdowns that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your equipment is approaching 15 years old and needs an expensive repair, it’s almost always time to replace the system. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, installing a new HVAC system can save you between 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 find the most energy efficient HVAC system on the market. In general, look for HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, meaning the equipment satisfies firm guidelines made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are some of the most efficient systems on the market, offering both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is used for heating systems and measures how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, meanwhile, is used to quantify the efficiency of air conditioning systems.

Contact a reputable HVAC provider like Lakeside Heating & Air for air conditioning installation in Chelan and Wenatchee.

4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters

The next time you’re looking for new HVAC filters, consider that not all air filters are capable of providing the same results. Specific air filters are far more efficient than others, leading to lower energy bills and a clean home.

The efficiency of HVAC air filters is rated 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 important to note, though, that high-efficiency air filters can sometimes impede airflow too much depending on the type of HVAC system you own. It’s worthwhile to read the owner’s manual before purchasing a filter to determine the right one for your system.