You may be tempted to replace your entire heating and cooling system to save a few bucks, but there may be a more practical and affordable approach (assuming your system isn't totally shot). Below are two options that can help homeowners lower their energy bills without totally replacing their HVAC units.
Here's how traditional HVAC systems operate: a single thermostat is placed somewhere in the center of your home. The thermostat regulates and controls the entire system so it can distribute warm or cool air throughout every room in your house. Many thermostats do a fairly good job of making sure the whole house interior reaches and sustains the desired temperature, but they may not always be efficient in performing this function. There may be a more energy-efficient solution, know as zoning control.
So how does this zoned heating and cooling system work? In most cases, multiple thermostats are placed in zones throughout the house depending on the floor plan of course. Each zone is controlled by the thermostat and regulated through the dampers in the ductwork that open and close. When the temp in a zone needs to be adjusted, the thermostat will open or close those dampers, and the air is directed toward that zone.
Home automation is becoming more and more popular in the HVAC world these days. Many companies offer thermostats that feature lots of options so you can fine-tune your heating and cooling schedule throughout the day. These programmable thermostats allow you to decide when you want the heating and cooling system turned on and off and also what temperature you want to set.
There are even thermostats that can be programmed and operated from an app on your phone! This is so that you have full control even when you're not home, such as turning up the air so the house is cool when you arrive. You can even monitor the thermostat to see how often it's running and how much energy the system is using. Overall, installing a programmable thermostat can help you save money by operating your heating or cooling system only when YOU want it to run.