3 ways to turn your home's heating and cooling systems energy efficient

3 ways to turn your home's heating and cooling systems energy efficient

Key tips to remember

  • Install a programmable thermostat
  • Get an Energy Star HVAC
  • Add insulation

Some homeowners may not realize that heating and cooling account for more than half of the average home’s energy consumption, which makes it the largest energy expense for most families. To cut down on your energy usage and lower your utility bills, it’s important to improve the energy efficiency of your home. The heating and cooling systems are a great place to start. And these three choices will make a noticeable impact.

1. Programmable thermostat: Installing a programmable thermostat is an easy, cost-effective improvement that helps regulate your home’s temperature in both summer and winter. It can also help to substantially lower your utility bills. You can use four pre-programmed settings, or manually program it, to turn on when you wake up in the morning and to turn off or adjust the temperature when you leave the house for more efficient energy use. Some homeowners may be surprised to learn that for every degree you lower your thermostat during the winter, you can shave about three percent off your heating costs. Conversely, every degree you raise it during the summer can mean a six percent reduction in your cooling costs. 

2. Energy Star HVAC: An Energy Star-qualified HVAC system has a giant impact on energy efficiency. These high efficiency units emit fewer greenhouse gases than non-Energy Star systems. When shopping for an Energy Star HVAC, notice the SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio). The current minimum standard as required by law is 14 SEER, but some heating and air conditioning units may have a rating as high as 26 SEER. The higher the SEER, the more energy efficient the equipment is and the more money you will save on your power bills. You may also be eligible for a state rebate when you purchase Energy Star-certified equipment.

Another smart move is to purchase a home warranty, which can help you with preventive maintenance for your HVAC system and can also help reduce the cost of repairs should an unexpected breakdown occur. At Cinch, we provide a Built-in System plan and a Complete Home plan, which includes both appliances and systems, that cover the cost to repair and replace broken HVAC systems. They’re affordable, reliable and a fantastic investment for your home. 

3. Insulation: Insulation also plays a major role when it comes to your home’s heating and cooling costs. Consider the following insulation to install:

  • Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are among the most airtight and well-insulated building systems available. These panels are constructed of EPS foam sandwiched between oriented strand boards. The fact that they are airtight translates to approximately 40 percent more savings than fiberglass insulation. Another plus is that SIPs don’t contain any volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or other harmful chemicals.
  • Cellulose insulation contains up to 85 percent recycled paper. Not only is it a greener insulation option, but also safer, as it provides up to 50 percent better fire resistance than fiberglass insulation.
  • Recycled glass insulation is fiberglass insulation made with up to 25 percent recycled materials. Cotton insulation is made from recycled blue jeans. Although it’s a bit more expensive than traditional fiberglass insulation, it is just as easy to install and doesn’t contain unhealthy fibers.

By choosing to take steps to implement energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, you’ll be able to dramatically reduce your utility bills as well as your carbon footprint. Another great step is to protect these energy-efficient systems with a Cinch home warranty. 

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.