6 Efficiency Upgrades to Make to Your Home

April 22, 2021
smarthouse tech with thermal imaging camera inside home

One of the most common phone calls we get here at SmartHouse is from St. Louis homeowners who are looking over their finances and have noticed their heating and cooling bills have been steadily creeping upwards. High energy costs are one of the most common reasons why people want to make energy efficiency upgrades for their homes, and it often comes as a surprise that there are a variety of solutions available.

What are some of the best upgrades homeowners can make to their HVAC system or their homes to lower monthly energy costs? Here are a few examples of HVAC and home performance services to help you get started.

1. Upgrading Your Thermostat

How old is the thermostat in your home? Is it programmable? Programmable thermostats offer the opportunity for immediate savings—setting your HVAC system so that it doesn’t need to run as often while you’re away at work or at sleep can save as much as 25% on your heating and cooling costs. 

Smart thermostats, like Nest or Ecobee, go a step further and can integrate not only with your heating and cooling units but with air cleaners and other indoor air quality solutions for maximum control over your indoor environment. Plus, you can access and adjust your thermostat anywhere, right from your phone!

2. Creating a “Zoned” HVAC System

Are there rooms or areas of your Missouri home you rarely use? If so, why are you paying to keep them as comfortable as the rest of the house? By creating a home comfort zoning system, you can independently control the temperature and comfort settings in different parts of your home. HVAC zoning not only makes the whole family happier if members have different comfort preferences, but can reduce energy waste as well, saving you money.

3. Installing a Mini-split  in Problem Areas of Your Home

Sometimes a home’s ductwork system wasn’t very well designed or recent additions have made it hard for your central air system to create even temperatures throughout your entire house. This might mean you end up cranking up your furnace in the winter and AC in the summer, just to keep certain parts of your home comfortable. Ductless mini-splits are an energy efficient way to cool and heat areas of your home that are not served adequately by your ductwork. These systems provide significantly better home comfort, while using less energy, than supplemental sources, such as window AC units or space heaters.

4. Replacing the Insulation in Your Attic or Basement

Energy waste in a house or building tends to be concentrated at the top and the bottom, which makes properly insulating your attic and basement so important to keeping heating and cooling costs low. Insulation keeps heat inside your home in the winter and outside of your home in the summer, making it a year-round solution to lower energy bills.

5. Air Sealing Your Home

You can’t talk about insulation services without talking about air sealing! Many insulation types are less effective when exposed to moving air. Air sealing closes up the many tiny gaps, cracks, and holes in your home’s exterior that weaken your insulation performance and allow heat to move in and out of your home. A home that’s more airtight will lose less energy and make heating and cooling more affordable.

6. Upgrading To a High Efficiency HVAC System

Finally, there’s the most obvious solution to lowering your heating and cooling costs, which is upgrading to a more energy-efficient HVAC system.

At SmartHouse, we offer models with different high efficiency features that can drastically reduce energy costs.  2-stage and modulating units, as well as units with inverter technology, allow your heating and cooling systems to make adjustments to your unit’s output for improved comfort and energy savings. High efficiency gas furnaces can save as much as 20% on fuel costs, while top AC models can cut electricity costs in half.

Heat pumps and mini-splits can further increase your savings, particularly on the heating side; because heat pumps and ductless mini-splits have both heating and cooling settings, they can cut energy costs by up as much as 50% year-round.

High efficiency HVAC upgrades usually come with a higher price tag, but there are two great reasons why the list price isn’t the only thing you should consider:

  1. With ongoing monthly savings to your energy bills, you can recoup your upfront costs and even save money in the long run.
  2. Utility company and manufacturer rebates can help reduce your initial installation costs, and manufacturers like Daikin offer 12 year warranties for long-term peace of mind.

SmartHouse Can Help You Save Money 

There aren’t one-size-fits-all solutions to improving a home’s energy efficiency—but SmartHouse is here to help. Our team of whole-home experts combines building science expertise with outstanding customer service to put your needs first and help you find the solution that’s right for YOUR home.

We’ll take the time to listen to the issues you’re experiencing, and make the recommendations we think will best improve your home comfort and lower your monthly energy bills. Instead of just trying to sell you on the most expensive option, you can feel confident that SmartHouse will treat your house like it was our own.

Talk to SmartHouse today to learn more about the best energy efficiency upgrades for your St. Louis area home. Call 314-644-1570 or contact us now to get started.