9 Benefits of Upgrading to Energy-Efficient HVAC Systems

9 Benefits of Upgrading to Energy-Efficient HVAC Systems - Lee Company

From your morning omelet to the gas in your car, it seems like everything is getting more expensive these days. And despite your best efforts to live a frugal lifestyle, rising energy costs can be difficult to escape. However, energy-efficient heating and cooling (HVAC) systems can offer you a way to reduce monthly energy bills and maximize your hard-earned money, all while improving the comfort of your home!

It may seem counterintuitive as an initial expense, but this investment can add significant savings over time and bring 9 fantastic benefits your way! If you’re ready to open your monthly energy bill and feel relief instead of dread, here are 9 reasons to consider upgrading to an energy-efficient HVAC system.

1. Lower Energy Bills

For homeowners weathering a wave of inflation, saving money is on everyone’s mind. According to an ENERGY STAR report, consumers spend an average of $2,000 annually on energy bills! An astounding 42% is devoted to heating and cooling costs alone.

Upgrading to a high-efficiency HVAC system can significantly reduce your monthly energy bills!

ENERGY STAR evaluates the most effective air conditioners in terms of their productivity each year. On the ENERGY STAR website, you’ll find the most up-to-date, highly efficient systems for your home.

Some of the most efficient systems for heating and cooling include:

  • Air Source Heat Pumps
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps
  • Gas furnaces

Each can offer energy savings of up to 60% compared to less efficient models, allowing you to keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket!

2. Tax Credits and Rebates

With the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), now is the perfect time to invest in energy-efficient HVAC systems because of the available tax credits and rebates. Homeowners looking to upgrade their HVAC system stand to benefit from two major IRA programs:

The Energy Efficient Home Improvement Tax Credit (25C)

Starting in 2023 and lasting through 2032, the Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit (25C) provides generous federal tax credits for the installation of energy-efficient equipment:

  • Up to $600 each for a qualified air conditioner or gas furnace (capped annually at $1,200)
  • Up to $2,000 for a qualified heat pump, heat pump water heater, or boiler

The High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Program (HEEHRP)

This program provides up to a whopping $14,000 in direct consumer rebates from states for:

  • ENERGY STAR Heat Pump installation (up to $8,000)
  • Electrical panel upgrades (up to $4,000)
  • Home insulation and sealing (up to $1,600)
  • Wiring improvements (up to $2,500)

The amount you qualify for varies depending on household income. But between these two programs, you could offset a significant portion of the cost of upgrading to an energy-efficient HVAC system.

Tennessee residents can learn more about these special energy tax credits and rebates here. General information about both IRA programs can be found here.

***Lee Company is not providing tax advice. The content on this webpage has been prepared for informational purposes only. You should consult a tax professional if you have questions regarding federal tax credits.

3. Improved Indoor Air Quality

With all the sneezing of flu season, wheezing of allergy season, wildfires raging, and smog blanketing the sky, air quality is something everyone’s thinking about. So who wouldn’t want to stay inside where the air is clean and irritant-free? Well, not so fast…

Your home’s air quality largely depends on your HVAC system’s efficiency. An inefficient HVAC system can lead to a buildup of pollutants in your home, creating an unhealthy environment that could be detrimental to you and your family’s health, leading to:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Respiratory issues
  • Headaches
  • Eye irritation
  • Asthma attacks
  • And more!

Modern HVAC systems can be your refuge against seasonal sickness and smoggy skies with their energy-efficient innovations! More advanced air filtration technologies reduce airborne particles, mold spores, and other health hazards commonly found in the home.

To keep the air in your home clean and allergen-free, look for ENERGY STAR-qualified systems equipped with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. HEPA filters are the most effective at eliminating microscopic particles. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, HEPA air filters can eliminate a minimum of 99.97% of:

  • Bacteria
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • And all airborne particles that are 0.3 microns (µm) or smaller!

Changing your air filters every 3 months is also important in maintaining good air quality.

So if you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, or if you worry about the air your family breathes, Energy-Efficient HVAC systems can be a great solution to improved indoor air quality.

4. Consistent Temperature Control

Have you ever noticed that one room in your house feels like a sauna while another is chilly enough to hang meat? These hot and cold spots are not only uncomfortable, but they also waste energy and cause your utility bills to skyrocket.

The good news is that energy-efficient HVAC systems can help you achieve consistent temperature control throughout your home. Here are some ways these systems provide more consistency than traditional HVAC units:


Many newer HVAC systems offer zoning features that allow you to set different temperatures for different rooms or “zones” in your home. This means you can keep your bedroom cool and comfortable while warming up the living room (or any other part of your home!).

Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats allow you to set different temperature preferences based on the time of day or week. For example, you can program your thermostat to automatically adjust to a higher temperature when you’re away at work and lower it when you’re home in the evenings. This means it’s only working as hard as you need it to when you need it to.

Variable Speed Motors

Traditional HVAC systems operate at one speed, leading to temperature fluctuations and wasted energy. Variable speed motors, on the other hand, can adjust their speed when temperatures fluctuate, providing more consistent cooling and heating throughout your home.

If you’re looking for a way to keep your home more comfortable throughout the year without blowing your budget on energy bills, energy-efficient HVAC systems are definitely the way to go! They’re like a divine gift from the HVAC gods, bringing heavenly comfort to your home all year round. Ahh, can you feel the comfortable bliss already?

5. Quieter Operation

Does your furnace or air conditioner rattle the windows and wake the neighbors? Traditional HVAC systems can be noisy, especially if they’re older or haven’t been maintained properly.

Energy-efficient HVAC systems are here to bring you peace and quiet while they work their magic!

Here are some ways these systems help reduce noise levels:

  • Insulation: Energy-efficient HVAC systems often have added insulation to their components, which helps reduce vibrations that can increase noise, giving you a quieter home environment.
  • Variable Speed Motors: As mentioned earlier, variable speed motors can adjust their speed as needed to maintain the desired temperature. As a result, they operate more quietly because no sudden changes in speed can create extra noise.
  • Outdoor Units: Many energy-efficient systems have outdoor units designed to reduce noise levels. These units can also be equipped with compressor blankets to muffle the noise. So, you can enjoy a quieter outdoor environment while keeping your indoor space cool and comfortable.

Say goodbye to those loud, obnoxious HVAC systems and hello to a serene and peaceful home environment with energy-efficient HVAC systems. Even your neighbors will thank you!

6. Better Humidity Control

Here in Tennessee, we all know how hot and sticky the summers can get.

To maintain a comfortable environment in the summer, the humidity levels indoors should definitely stay under 50% (30%-45% is optimal). During winter, 40% is ideal.

Traditional HVAC systems are not designed with humidity control in mind and can leave your home feeling stuffy and uncomfortable in the summer months or dry and drafty in the winter. For some people, this can mean itchy skin, nose bleeds, and watery eyes.

On the other hand, energy-efficient HVAC systems come with built-in humidity sensors that maintain the perfect humidity level throughout the year.

There are 3 important rating systems to understand when it comes to efficiency and humidity levels in your home:

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

When looking for an ENERGY STAR-qualified system, look for one with a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). When you choose an air conditioner, SEER ratings make it simple to compare units and determine the most efficient one. A rating of 14 or higher indicates improved energy savings and better regulation of humidity levels.

If you’ve been window-shopping for new units lately, you may have noticed that SEER has shifted to its newer stand-in: SEER2. SEER2 is the most recent version of this calculation, incorporating updated M1 blower testing procedures. This modification reflects the advancement in energy efficiency standards for HVAC systems.

Energy Efficiency Ratio

The Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) is another rating system used to measure an HVAC system’s ability to cool efficiently. An EER of 11 or higher indicates improved energy savings and better humidity control, but an EER of 14 will put your unit at the highest technical standard.

Sensible Heat Factor

The Sensible Heat Factor (SHF) can range from 0.5 to 1.0. The smaller this number is, the less efficient a system will be at cooling, but the more effective it will be at removing moisture from the air.

Homeowners in humid climates (like here in Tennessee) need to strike a balance between a lower SHF to reduce humidity while still getting a higher SEER rating to reduce energy bills.

These rating systems can be overwhelming and complicated if you don’t know what you want. It pays to have a trusted HVAC partner like Lee Company when shopping for energy-efficient HVAC systems. Our knowledgeable technicians can help answer all your questions and ensure you get the perfect solution for your home.

7. Longer Lifespan

No one looks forward to the expense of replacing an HVAC system, but eventually, the time comes for all homeowners… The good news is that energy-efficient systems are designed to last! 

High-efficiency HVAC models require less energy to cycle and operate, meaning the system has less wear and tear over time. A new HVAC system can last up to 20 years or more with proper installation and maintenance!

It’s important to remember there are a lot of factors at play when it comes to the average lifespan of an HVAC system, including:

  • Quality of installation
  • Brand and type of system
  • If your home has good insulation and ventilation
  • Regular maintenance
  • Local climate
  • Indoor temperature settings

But in general, energy-efficient systems have been proven to last longer than their non-energy-efficient counterparts.

8. Increased Home Value

Are you considering selling your home in the next few years?  Investing in an energy-efficient HVAC system can provide a major boost to the value of your home! 

When prospective buyers are looking for homes, they will often pay more for energy-efficient features, making ENERGY STAR-certified HVAC systems an attractive selling point.

How much value can a new furnace and air conditioner add to your home?

It’s difficult to give an exact figure, but most real estate professionals agree that the return on investment is worth it. A brand-new HVAC system has been known to increase the market value of homes by anywhere from 5% up to 7%, with around 60% of the expense to install getting recouped in value!

So efficient HVAC systems save you money on your energy bills now, but they can also pay off when it comes time to sell your property in the future!

9. Enhanced Comfort

The little luxuries in life are important, and energy-efficient HVAC systems can provide enhanced comfort levels that you won’t get with standard models.

If you like to keep your home perfectly climate-controlled, you’ll love the following:

  • Programmable thermostats that provide the exact temperature you want
  • Variable speed fans for improved air circulation and quieter operation
  • Zone control systems that allow you to customize the temperature in different areas of your home
  • Humidity management systems that help you maintain the perfect level of moisture
  • Smart features that allow you even more convenience and control over the performance of your HVAC system

By investing in an energy-efficient HVAC system, you don’t just get cost savings and enhanced home value. You also get improved comfort levels, making spending time at home even more enjoyable!

If you’re ready to switch to a more efficient HVAC system, Lee Company is here to help! We offer a wide variety of ENERGY STAR-rated systems so you can find the perfect fit for your home and budget. 

Give us a call today to learn more!

Interested in an energy-efficient HVAC system?

CALL US NOW AT 615.567.1000