Reduce your home’s carbon footprint through high efficiency heating and cooling systems

Kate Webb

September 22, 2021

Did you know, the single biggest thing you can do to reduce your home’s carbon footprint is to install energy-efficient heating and cooling systems? Homeowners who replace air conditioners, furnaces, and boilers with high-efficiency models report energy cost savings of 25% or higher on their monthly energy bills. Plus, a high-efficiency furnace or energy efficient air conditioning can also have a significant impact on climate change—almost as much as giving up your car. 


What’s the difference between standard and high efficiency?

Simply put, high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems convert energy more efficiently than standard systems. 


Cooling Systems

Air conditioner efficiency is measured using a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating, which tells you the cooling output of an air conditioner divided by the energy input, for a typical season. New air conditioning units are required to have a minimum SEER rating of 13, but experts generally recommend a SEER rating of at least 15. The most energy efficient air conditioning units can have a SEER rating as high as 21.


Heating Systems

Boiler and furnace efficiency is measured using an annual fuel-utilization-efficiency (AFUE) score, which tells you how well your boiler or furnace converts energy into usable heat. New boilers and furnaces are required to have an AFUE rating of at least 80%. And if you go with an energy efficient boiler or energy efficient furnace, the AFUE score can be as high as 98%. This means your boiler or furnace converts approximately 98% of the energy it draws into pure heat for your home. There is just 2% heat loss through the vents, chimney, open windows or doors, and other sources.


Is the cost of high-efficiency worth it?

The upfront costs of a high-efficiency furnace, boiler or ac can be high. But experts say if it’s within the budget, always go for higher efficiency. You will recoup the initial costs through lower monthly bills over the life of the energy-efficient heating or air conditioning system—up to 40% savings depending on the efficiency rating! Expect to see a return on your investment in just a few years. 


High-efficiency heating and central air conditioning systems also tend to be quieter than standard models, and they have more features like built-in humidity control, top-quality filters, or electronic ignition (which eliminates the need for a pilot light.)


Rebates & tax credits

If the cost of upgrading your standard heating and cooling appliances is still daunting, local incentive programs, like Mass Save®, offer up to thousands of dollars in rebates or interest-free financing for eligible households. These incentives make the cost of an energy-efficient boiler, high-efficiency furnace, or energy-efficient air conditioning easier to manage. 


When you apply for rebates or financing through InHome, we handle every part of the process for you and can accelerate your application. No fuss, no confusion. We do all the paperwork on your behalf, and get you the rebate or loan immediately.


More ways to lower your carbon footprint

If you’re going to invest in an energy-efficient boiler, high-efficiency furnace, or energy-efficient air conditioning, make sure the rest of your home is as energy efficient as possible. Anything you can do to minimize air loss will help your heating and cooling appliances work efficiently and further reduce your monthly costs.


  • Ensure your attic and walls are properly insulated. 
  • Add caulk or weather stripping around your doors and windows to prevent air from escaping. 
  • Ensure ducting in your crawl space and attic are properly insulated.
  • Have your chimney cleaned.
  • Install programmable thermostats (did you know programmable thermostats can save you an additional 10% on your energy bills?)


Still have questions? InHome’s experts are available any time to discuss your options. Get an instant quote for your high-efficiency heating and air conditioning system or contact us today.