HVAC Tips: Energy-Efficient Home Improvement Ideas for a Comfortable and Sustainable Living

For homeowners grappling with a steep energy bill, it’s frustrating to know that outside of rent or mortgage, energy costs indeed constitute one of the most burdensome expenses in a household. Also, finding the best options for reducing energy consumption can be a daunting task.
Making even small reductions in energy usage by, for example, investing in regular cleaning work of your HVAC systems, specifically coils, to curb the amount of dust that clogs them up and impedes airflow, isn’t just good for your finances, but also beneficial for the planet.

Consequently, there is an array of projects, from caulking and weatherstripping around each window and door to having a professional contractor thoroughly check your ductwork, that can enhance the energy value of your home and reduce your energy consumption to promote a more sustainable lifestyle. Creating space in your energy plan for such initiatives is important. As an added bonus, even your clothes can contribute to energy saving, for example, by line-drying them instead of using the dyer. However, this doesn’t mean you need to suffer in the blistering summer heat or lose the comfort of blinds and curtains to save on electric, gas, and heating and cooling costs.

Take a look at some of our HVAC tips and other home improvement ideas to save you money during the sizzling summer months in Las Vegas. From optimizing your home’s ductwork to incorporating technology for energy conservation, we’ll address everything from energy-efficient appliances, such as dishwasher models, to the potential benefits of renewable energy sources.

1. One of the most effective techniques is to replace old and inefficient appliances with a new ones that are Energy Star certified. Energy Star appliances, including dishwashers and refrigerators, use up to 30% less energy than their older counterparts. On average, this makes a substantial difference when it comes to HVAC appliances like furnaces, which are integral parts of your home’s complex ductwork.

2. Consider a programmable thermostat. Rather than having your heating or cooling system continuously work to maintain your home’s temperature, a programmable thermostat will strategically manage airflow when you aren’t around and ensure a comfortable environment by the time you return. This can significantly cut back on heating and air conditioning costs, and reduce your overall energy consumption.

3. Add insulation. Foam-in-place insulation can be affordably installed by being blown into your walls. Not only does it reduce air leakage but also contributes to keeping your home cosy with less energy. Consider these value-enhancing projects like caulking and weatherstripping around windows and doors to prevent drafts and reduce reliance on heating and cooling systems.

4. Don’t neglect the attic when installing insulation. By nature, attics are often a weak spot in a home’s insulation, but rolls of insulation can solve this issue. Remember to also keep the ductwork in your attic properly insulated and sealed for better efficiency.

5. Switch to low flow faucets and showerheads. This action will curtail excessive water usage while conserving the energy needed to heat your water. Remember, even in the context of your clothes washing, water heaters shouldn’t be overlooked when considering energy usage.

6. Drafts are another enemy of energy efficiency. Sealing leaks in windows and ducts can reduce your heating and cooling bills by one-fifth. Furthermore, using methods like caulking, weatherstripping, or even introducing technology such as energy-saving blinds and curtains can prove significant in diminishing your energy use.

7. Did you know there are special ‘blankets’ in the market for your hot water heater? Wrap your hot water heater with these to prevent heat loss and subsequently lower water heating costs, thus helping to decrease your energy consumption.

8. When it comes to choosing a furnace, the decision shouldn’t be taken lightly. Paying attention to the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating can provide insight into the furnace’s efficiency. The higher the rating, the better the furnace, which can contribute to reducing consumption and incorporating your home into more renewable energy sources.

9. Plant bushes, trees, or a trellis with vines near the home. Not only do they add to the aesthetic value of your property, but they can also create a natural shade that cools down your premises, reducing the need for air conditioning, thereby lowering your energy bill. Remember, even small projects like this can mean big energy savings in the long run.This fact adds aesthetic appeal to your home and provides natural shade, reducing the need for air conditioning during hotter months. Picture this natural shade as a nest, a cool and secure retreat from the outside temperatures. These trees provide shade and also act as a windbreak, keeping homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer, much like the performance of certain models of heat pumps. Also consider installing solar shading measures, such as blinds and curtains. In the kitchen, for example, these improvements can further reduce your reliance on air conditioning and heating by balancing the temperature in your life and home.

10. Keep up to date with regular updates, change your HVAC air filters once a month or as often as your HVAC company recommends. In addition to these maintenance tasks, clean your ducts at least twice a year. Having the right equipment such as energy-efficient thermostats, and taking these steps not only preserves your ductwork’s integrity but is vital in maintaining an energy-efficient home, avoiding energy waste and air leaks.

11. Rather than leaving outside lights on at night, use motion-activated lights. This will give you the safety benefits of outdoor lighting with much less energy use. Here’s a tip: also consider making LED upgrades or utilizing renewable sources of energy like solar power to light the exterior of your home and kitchen.

12. Change your dryer ventilation so that it vents to the outside of your home. In summer, the hot air from the dryer will heat your home; in winter, it will add to the moisture in your home and encourage mold growth. Be sure to keep the ductwork connected to your dryer properly maintained, and check regularly for things like leaks and inefficiencies. Remember to allocate a portion of your home improvement budget to this.

13. Install ceiling fans. Moving air feels several degrees cooler. In addition, you can reverse the direction of the fan in winter to push warm air toward the floor. This can supplement your HVAC system, reducing energy consumption, providing a comfortable indoor climate, and integrating solar energy into your life.

14. Insulate your pipes. This vital aspect of plumbing is especially important within the first six feet of pipe leaving your water heater. Also, contemplate geothermal HVAC systems. These environmentally-friendly systems take advantage of the earth’s constant underground temperature to maintain comfort in your home while also providing meaningful energy efficiency improvements.

15. Have your ducts inspected. Leaking ducts can cause significant energy waste, making it challenging to maintain the desired air quality and comfort in your home. There are even rebates in many areas that will cover part of this cost for you. With things like these available, savings can be considerable over time.

16. Install fluorescent tube lighting or energy-efficient panels in areas such as the garage where ambiance is not crucial. These devices use far less electricity, further enhancing the energy efficiency of your nest – your home, even if they have an office-like feeling. This cost-effective upgrade fits well within most homeowners’ budgets.

17. Add a timer to your hot water heater. There’s no need to pay to heat water when you aren’t even home. This is one of the many ways to save electricity and decrease your environmental footprint. Coupled with insulation upgrades, this plumbing modification can significantly cut down on energy waste.

18. Install energy-efficient windows. These windows will help hold in heat or cool, depending on the season. These windows significantly add to the comfort of your life by optimizing thermal control through energy efficiency. Just as with the other aforementioned equipment, remember to include these in your budget for home improvements.

19. Apply reflective coating to your roof. This will keep the sunlight from heating your home on sunny summer days while also making your roof last longer. The savings generated here are sometimes overlooked but making sure these things are done is significant as heating and cooling costs decrease.

20. Install door sweeps on all exterior doors. They prevent drafts, enhance overall energy efficiency by preventing unwanted heat or cold air from entering your home. It’s like tucking your home into a cozy, energy-efficient nest. It’s one small solution to contribute significantly to a more sustainable way of life.In addition to energy-efficient windows, several essential upgrades can be made anywhere in your home to make it more energy-efficient. From installing a new stove to checking your HVAC unit, these tasks are significant for all people wanting to reduce their energy consumption and save money. No one should underestimate the impact these changes can have on their finances, not only in reducing energy bills but also as a long-term investment in the value of their property.

21. Have flashing and caulk installed around your doors. This improvement, like the job of a vigilant security guard, is a minor but essential maintenance task that can reduce the amount of energy lost to drafts near doors. As a result, it can lower your carbon footprint and reduce your water use by ensuring your heating systems don’t have to work a stressful, never-ending cycle. Enhancing comfort and energy savings in your home can be as simple as paying attention to these minor details.

22. Have your hot water pipes inspected for leaks. Even a small leak in your home’s water system, akin to an unnoticed dripping tap or leaky stove, can waste a ton of water, energy, and money over time – not to mention increase your load on municipal resources. Regular inspection can detect leaks early and prevent unnecessary energy and monetary losses. This habit of preventive maintenance can lead to significant savings in the long term.

23. Add weather stripping to all windows. This $5-10 repair can pay for itself in as little as a month, showcasing that minor improvements, like giving your bicycle a tune-up before a long ride, can lead to tangible savings and enhanced comfort and air quality. Keep in mind that proper installation is as crucial to this job as a quality ingredient is to a gourmet recipe.

24. Consider investing in a heat pump HVAC unit. Often a much more economical choice in temperate climates, these units make a significant impact due to their high energy efficiency, leading to direct electricity savings. Plus, they can help maintain consistent temperatures throughout your domicile, increasing comfort levels. But remember, just like maintaining a bicycle, regular maintenance is key to reap these benefits.

(25 – 35) The remaining steps are preserved as is. Don’t forget to also incorporate solar panels and energy-saving fixtures into your energy efficiency plans if feasible. Harnessing the sun’s energy can both reduce your reliance on traditional electricity sources and provide significant savings in the long run. Habitual use of eco-friendly practices, such as efficient lighting fixtures or habits of turning off AC units when not in use, can reduce your carbon footprint anywhere and create a cycle of energy conservation.

In all the home improvement jobs that lie ahead, remember that every step, every adjustment, becomes an investment towards your future savings.

25. Add external insulation. If you have insulated the interior of your home thoroughly, a lack of external insulation may be the main issue.

26. Consider radiant heating. While radiant heating will require some installation cost, it is often the best choice for heating a home in colder areas.

27. Have an HVAC technician inspect your system annually. A healthy system lasts longer and uses less energy.

28. Install storm windows. Storm windows can reduce energy loss by up to fifty percent.

29. Install carpeting. Carpeting insulates the floor and also makes it more comfortable to live with a lower thermostate setting in winter.

30. Weatherproof your fireplace. A fireplace can allow outdoor air to flood into your home without a sealed flue damper and glass doors.

31. Consider a tankless water heater. These heaters heat water as you need it rather than keeping a reservoir of hot water at all times. They can cut water heating costs by half.

32. Install toggle switch plates. These allow you to turn off outlets completely, which is an energy saver when it comes to televisions and other electronics that use energy even when turned off.

33. Choose paint wisely. Darker colors may be trendy but they will heat a home to uncomfortable levels on sunny days.

34. Add an attic fan. This will remove hot air from your attic in warm weather months.

35. Consider an energy audit. When all measures have failed, a professional energy auditor may be able to find areas where you can conserve more.