Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Homes Energy Efficiency Posted April 20, 2017 Routinely having your HVAC system cleaned and tuned up may improve its performance and help lower your energy costs because an HVAC system that’s taken care of can use a great deal less energy than an HVAC system that is not. But what else should you do? Here are more easy steps you can take to improve your Kearney home’s energy efficiency. Seal all leaks around your windows and doors. Put on caulk or weatherstripping wherever you detect leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You might equate insulation with keeping your home warm in the winter, but it also provides benefits in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is continually seeking cooler places—like your home. Ensure you have sufficient 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 smoother. 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 necessary if they are situated 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 lower, keep the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures as small as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling by easily turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its typical setting for 8 hours a day. If you use 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 manually, but programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency much easier. You can automatically adjust 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 get home or wake up. If you opt 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 close to your thermostat. This practice can make your air conditioner to run longer than necessary because your thermostat senses heat from these appliances and thinks 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 Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning for an evaluation. It may be time to replace it with ENERGY STAR®-qualified equipment that can cut your annual energy bill by more than $115, according to energystar.gov. If you’ve got additional questions about how to increase your home’s energy efficiency, think it could be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to arrange a regular maintenance appointment, call Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning at 308-624-3485 and our experts can help.