4 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

December 19, 2022

We can all benefit from saving a few bucks where we can. An easy way to do so is by making some energy-efficient changes in your home. Upgrading your HVAC system or installing a smart thermostat, for example, gives you more control over your heating and cooling system, resulting in a more energy-efficient home and lower monthly energy bills.

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

1. Install a Smart Thermostat

If you still use a round-dial 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 assist with energy efficiency.

The feature homeowners enjoy the most is being able to adjust their smart thermostats from wherever by using their smartphone or other smart device. As an example, if you forget to adjust your thermostat before going on vacation, you can simply use your smartphone and make the adjustments.

Similar to a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat enables 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 ability to understand your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient modifications. They also provide monthly energy reports that show how much energy you’re using and when so you can make modifications to save money.

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

2. HVAC Tune Ups

Sadly, lots of 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.

During an HVAC maintenance service, a heating and cooling technician is going to inspect your HVAC system, clean important components, and identify minor issues before they create bigger, more expensive repair issues. Maintenance can keep HVAC systems working at optimal condition, which means they use less energy to heat and cool your home. This will lower your energy bills, prolong the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs.

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

3. Replacing Your Old, Inefficient HVAC Equipment

Annoyingly, like any appliance, HVAC systems don't last forever and eventually need to be replaced. New heaters and cooling equipment is much more energy efficient than equipment produced just over a decade ago. Fortunately, quality HVAC companies like Marcos AC & Heating can perform professional services including furnace installation in Houston.

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can run for around 15-20 years. If the equipment is within that span, it might be a good idea to replace them now to avoid premature equipment failures that can leave you cold and uncomfortable on a cold winter night. If your equipment is around 15 years old and needs an expensive repair, it’s usually time to replace the unit. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, upgrading to a new HVAC system can sometimes save you about 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll get back some of the costs of buying a new system.

A professional comfort technician can help you find the most energy efficient HVAC system on the market. In general, try to find HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, meaning the equipment satisfies rigid guidelines made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are often some of the most efficient systems around, 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 measure the energy efficiency of air conditioning systems.

Contact a reputable HVAC provider like Marcos AC & Heating for air conditioning installation in Houston.

4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters

The next time you’re looking for new HVAC filters, consider that not all air filters are created equally. Some air filters are far more successful than others, leading to lower energy bills and a clean home.

The effectiveness of HVAC air filters is rated 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 sometimes impede airflow too much based on the type of HVAC system you have. It’s beneficial to read the owner’s manual before buying a filter to determine the best option for your system.