4 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

December 19, 2022

We can all benefit from saving money here and there. An easy way to do so is by identifying energy inefficiencies throughout your home. Upgrading your HVAC equipment or adding a smart thermostat, for example, offers more control over your HVAC system, contributing to a more energy-efficient home and savings on your monthly energy bills.

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

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 contains a number of features to improve your home's energy efficiency.

The function homeowners like the most is having the capability to access their smart thermostats from anywhere they want by using their smartphone or other smart device. As an example, if you forget to change your thermostat before going on vacation, you can just pull out your smartphone and make the necessary adjustment.

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 cooling or heating an empty house. Smart thermostats also offer the ability to understand your temperature preferences over time and automatically make energy-efficient adjustments. They even create monthly energy reports that illustrate how much energy you’re using 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 see if there are any discounts or free smart thermostats offered.

2. HVAC Tune Ups

Sadly, some homeowners often forget about having their heating and cooling systems maintained. While this does not seem like a problem, inadequate maintenance could result in a number of issues, including inefficiency, breakdowns, and a shorter system lifespan.

During an HVAC maintenance service, the technician should evaluate your HVAC system, clean key components, and identify minor flaws before they lead to bigger, more expensive repair issues. Tune ups keep HVAC systems running in optimal condition, which means less energy is needed to heat and cool your home. This will lower your energy bills, expand the lifespan of HVAC equipment, and contribute to fewer repairs.

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

3. Replacing Your Worn-Down, Inefficient HVAC Equipment

Annoyingly, like all appliances, HVAC systems have a shelf life and ultimately need to be replaced. New heaters and cooling equipment is much more effective than equipment sold just over 10 years ago. Luckily, quality HVAC companies like Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling can handle professional services including furnace installation in Des Moines.

Well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners can live around 15-20 years. If your systems are within that span, it can be a good idea to replace them ahead of time to minimize the risk of untimely equipment failures that can leave you cold and uncomfortable if it’s a cold winter night. If your equipment is about 15 years old and requires an expensive repair, it’s usually time to replace the system. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, getting a new HVAC system can sometimes save you approximately 20-40% on your monthly energy bills, so you’ll recover 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. For the most part, seek out HVAC systems that are Energy Star certified, which means the equipment satisfies firm guidelines set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LENNOX HVAC systems are some of the most efficient systems available, boasting 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 calculate the efficiency of cooling equipment.

Contact a reputable HVAC provider like Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling for air conditioning installation in Des Moines.

4. Use Energy-Efficient Air Filters

If you’re shopping for new HVAC filters, consider that not all air filters are the same. Some air filters are far more successful than others, contributing to lower energy bills and cleaner indoor air.

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, though, that high-efficiency air filters can in fact impede airflow too much depending on the type of HVAC system you have. It’s worthwhile to study the owner’s manual before getting a filter to find the ideal model for your system.