We can all benefit from saving a few bucks from time to time. One of the simplest ways to do this is by improving energy efficiency throughout your home. Upgrading your HVAC system or adding a smart thermostat, for example, gives you more control over your HVAC system, resulting in a more energy-efficient home and savings on your monthly energy bills.  

Keep reading to learn more about 4 ways you can make energy-efficient home improvements. 

 1. Use 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 comes with numerous features to assist with energy efficiency. 

The feature homeowners like the most is having the capability to adjust their smart thermostats from anywhere through their smartphone or other smart device. As an example, when you forget to adjust your thermostat before leaving for vacation, you can simply take out your smartphone and make any needed adjustments.  

Similar to a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat enables you to pre-set 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 feature 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’re using and when so you can make adjustments to save money.  

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

2. HVAC Tune Ups 

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

With an HVAC maintenance service, the technician will examine your HVAC system, clean necessary components, and pinpoint minor issues before they create bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance can keep HVAC systems working at optimal condition, which means less energy is needed to heat and cool your home. This can reduce your energy bills, prolong the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs. 

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

3. Replacing Your Old, Inefficient HVAC Equipment 

Unfortunately, like every appliance, HVAC systems can't run forever and inevitably need to be replaced. Newer heaters and cooling systems are much more effective than equipment produced just over 10 years ago. Thankfully, local HVAC companies like Home Furniture, Plumbing & Heating can perform professional services like furnace installation in Kankakee.  

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can last about 15-20 years. If your system is within that span, it is often be a good idea to replace them early to prevent untimely equipment failure that can leave you cold and uncomfortable if it’s a cold winter night. If your HVAC system is around 15 years old and has a problem that needs an expensive repair, it’s definitely time to replace the unit. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, getting a new HVAC system can save you approximately 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 determine the most energy efficient HVAC system for your needs. In general, try to find HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, which means the equipment satisfies rigid guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are often some of the most efficient systems available, offering both high AFUE and SEER ratings. AFUE is intended for heating systems and measures how well they convert fuel to heat. SEER, in the meantime, is used to measure the energy efficiency of cooling systems.  

Call a reputable HVAC provider like Home Furniture, Plumbing & Heating for air conditioning installation in Kankakee. 

 4. Look for High Efficiency Air Filters 

When you’re shopping for new HVAC filters, remember that not all air filters are created equally. Specific air filters are far more efficient than others, resulting in lower energy bills and cleaner indoor air. 

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 worthwhile to note, though, that high-efficiency air filters can in fact restrict airflow too much based on the type of HVAC system you own. It’s worthwhile to read the owner’s manual before getting a filter to find the right one for your system.