Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Home’s Energy Efficiency 04/20/2017Habitually having your HVAC system cleaned and tuned up can boost its performance and help lower your energy costs because an HVAC system that’s properly maintained can use considerably less energy than one that is not. But what else should you do? We have more simple steps you can perform to revamp your Northwest Arkansas home’s energy efficiency. Seal all leaks around your windows and doors. Apply caulk or weatherstripping at the locations you notice leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You likely equate insulation with keeping your house warm in the winter, but it also helps in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is steadily seeking cooler places—like your home. Be sure you have enough insulation to keep the heat from moving 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, confirm your ducts are properly sealed to stop air leaks and insulate them if needed. If they are leaking, you are losing valuable heated or cooled air. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more necessary if they are located in the attic, a vented crawlspace or any other unconditioned area. Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. To help possibly keep your cooling bill lower, keep the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures as little as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save nearly 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply 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 affecting 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 choose 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 more 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 needed 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 avoid 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 AirTech Heating and Air Conditioning, LLC for an assessment. It may be time to replace it with ENERGY STAR®-qualified equipment that can reduce your annual energy bill by more than $115, according to energystar.gov. If you’ve got more questions about how to increase your home’s energy efficiency, think it may be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to make a regular maintenance appointment, call AirTech Heating and Air Conditioning, LLC at 479-372-4304 and our experts can help. If it’s easier, schedule your appointment online using our online scheduler.