Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Homes Energy Efficiency Posted April 20, 2017 Habitually having your HVAC system cleaned and tuned up can improve its performance and help reduce your costs because an HVAC system that’s taken care of can use a great deal less energy than a system that is not. But what else could you do? Here are more simple steps you can perform to increase your West Jefferson home’s energy efficiency. Seal all leaks around your windows and doors. Add caulk or weatherstripping at the locations you detect leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You may equate insulation with keeping your house warm in the winter, but it also makes a difference in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is continually seeking cooler places—like your home. Be sure you have adequate insulation to keep the heat from flowing through your attic and walls and decreasing your home comfort. Have your ducts cleaned. Clean ducts make it easier for air to flow through your home, which makes your air conditioner’s job simpler. While you’re at it, ensure your ducts are properly sealed to avoid air leaks and insulate them if needed. If your air ducts are leaking, you are losing valuable heated or cooled air. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more important if they are located in the attic, a vented crawlspace or any other unconditioned area. Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible throughout the summer. To help possibly keep your cooling bill smaller, keep the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures as low as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save nearly 10% a year on heating and cooling by easily turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its normal setting for 8 hours a day. If you utilize a ceiling fan in conjunction with your air conditioner, you can raise your thermostat setting by about 4°F without negatively disturbing your comfort. Install a programmable thermostat. Sure, thermostats can be adjusted physically, but programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency much easier. You can automatically modify your temperature when you’re away from home or when you’re sleeping while avoiding discomfort because your home’s temperature will return to normal before you come home or wake up. If you decide not to use a programmable thermostat, avoid setting your thermostat at a colder-than-usual setting when you turn on your air conditioner. Your house won’t cool down any faster and will only cost you additional money in energy. Don’t place lamps, TV sets or other heat-generating appliances near your thermostat. This practice can cause your air conditioner to run longer than required because your thermostat senses heat from these appliances and assumes your home needs cooled. [Use|Utilize|Take advantage of]54] your windows. If it’s cooler at night, turn off your AC and open the windows. Shut the windows and your curtains or blinds in the morning to trap the cooler air and to hinder heat gain through the windows. Invest in new, energy-efficient equipment. If your HVAC equipment is more than 10 years old or not meeting with your home-comfort needs, call West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc. for a review. It may be time to replace it with ENERGY STAR®-qualified equipment that can lower your annual energy bill by more than $115, according to energystar.gov. If you’ve got additional questions about how to improve your home’s energy efficiency, think it might be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to schedule a regular maintenance appointment, call West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc. at 614-450-1575 and our experts will help.