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 could boost its performance and help lower your energy costs because an HVAC system that’s well-maintained can use much less energy than an HVAC system that is not. But what else could you do? We have more simple steps you can do to improve your Savage home’s energy efficiency. Seal all leaks around your windows and doors. Put on caulk or weatherstripping at the locations you notice leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You likely equate insulation with keeping your home warm throughout 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. Be 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, ensure your ducts are properly sealed to stop air leaks and insulate them if needed. If they are leaking, that means 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 during 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 nearly 10% a year on heating and cooling by just turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its usual 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 affecting your comfort. Install a programmable thermostat. Sure, thermostats can be adjusted by hand, but programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency so easy. 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 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 more 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 required 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 matching with your home-comfort needs, call Gopher Heating and Air Conditioning for a review. 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 additional questions about how to improve 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 Gopher Heating and Air Conditioning at 952-373-0377 and our experts can help.