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 elevate its performance and help lower your energy costs because an HVAC system that’s taken care of can use considerably less energy than one that is not. But what else could you do? We’ve got more simple steps you can perform to revamp your Racine home’s energy efficiency. Seal all leaks around your windows and doors. Apply caulk or weatherstripping wherever you find leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You might equate insulation with keeping your indoor space warm during the winter, but it also helps in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is constantly seeking cooler places—like your home. Make sure you have sufficient insulation to keep the heat from shifting 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 easier. While you’re at it, confirm your ducts are properly sealed to prevent 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 in the summer. To help possibly keep your cooling bill smaller, keep the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures as small 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 get 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 close to your thermostat. This practice can force 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 prevent heat gain through the windows. Invest in new, energy-efficient equipment. If your HVAC equipment is more than 10 years old or not keeping up with your home-comfort needs, call Keystone Heating & Air Conditioning Co., Inc for an assessment. 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 more questions about how to improve your home’s energy efficiency, think it might be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to make a regular maintenance appointment, call Keystone Heating & Air Conditioning Co., Inc at 262-358-9468 and our experts can help.