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 reduce your costs because an HVAC system that’s well-maintained can use a great deal less energy than a system that is not. But what else can you do? We’ve got more manageable steps you can take to increase your Plainfield home’s energy efficiency. Seal any leaks around your windows and doors. Put on caulk or weatherstripping at the locations you notice leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You might equate insulation with keeping your home warm in the winter, but it also makes a difference in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is steadily seeking cooler places—like your home. Make sure you have enough 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, 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 critical 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 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 usual setting for 8 hours a day. If you turn on 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 regulate 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 additional money in energy. Don’t place lamps, TV sets or other heat-generating appliances near your thermostat. This practice can force your air conditioner to run longer than needed because your thermostat senses heat from these appliances and determines 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 keeping up with your home-comfort needs, call PWA Heating & Cooling 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 more questions about how to enhance your home’s energy efficiency, think it may be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to arrange a regular maintenance appointment, call PWA Heating & Cooling Inc at 815-768-6656 and our experts will help. If it’s more convenient, schedule your appointment online with our online scheduler.