The 2020 Farmers’ Almanac predicts “yet another freezing, frigid, and frosty winter for two-thirds of the country.”
The good news is homeowners don’t have to choose between staying cozy and eco-conscious. Today’s innovations make it easy to enjoy both with smart home climate control technologies and advanced heating systems created to achieve maximum energy efficiency and comfort.
As you consider ways to live green this winter, you may be surprised to learn that home heating uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in your home — typically making up nearly half of your utility bill.
It’s no wonder optimal energy efficiency is a homebuyer’s top “green preference,” with nearly half of homebuyers willing to invest between $1,000 and $9,999 for a $1,000 annual savings on their utility bills, and 37 percent are willing to spend upward of $10,000, according to the National Association of Home Builders 2019 “What Home Buyers Really Want” Report.
So, how do you choose a home heating solution that is both earth and financially friendly? Here are some tips to guide your journey.
1. Get ‘Smart’ About Home Climate Control
When it comes to smart home temperature control, there are smart HVAC systems and smart thermostats.
Smart HVAC systems have built-in internet capability and can be controlled directly without additional equipment.
Smart home thermostats create “smart” systems by enabling remote temperature control via a mobile or internet-connected device or voice-operated home automation system.
2. Upgrade Your System or Thermostat
Consider upgrading your system and installing a smart home thermostat that can significantly reduce your utility expense.
Among the most energy-efficient heating and cooling products on the market, ductless mini-split systems can save as much as 25 percent on your energy bill.
Further, an efficiently controlled thermostat could save an additional 10 percent a year by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its normal setting.
Set the thermostat to 68°F while you’re awake and set it lower while you’re asleep or away from home.
3. Voice Your Preferences
Take control of your comfort. Most HVAC manufacturers offer apps that enable systems to be controlled from anywhere using a mobile device.
Now, voice-control capability uses digital assistants, like Amazon Alexa or Google Home, to verbally dictate home temperatures.
Being able to easily control the temperature more closely allows homeowners to be more comfortable and improve energy savings.
4. Find the Efficient Comfort Zone
Many of us live in homes designed for bigger families but have yet to downsize.
If you find yourself using a fraction of your home on a regular basis, consider upgrading to a zoned ducted, or ductless system. This will allow you to save energy heating and cooling spaces where your family doesn’t spend a lot of time.
This will multiply savings as you’re not only needing less heat (and cool air) but you also gain from a more efficient system in the spaces you do still use.