Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Home’s Energy Efficiency 04/20/2017Routinely having your HVAC system cleaned and tuned up can boost its performance and help lower your energy costs because an HVAC system that’s taken care of can use much less energy than a system that is not. But what else can you do? We’ve got more simple steps you can do to revamp your Plover home’s energy efficiency. Seal any leaks around your windows and doors. Apply caulk or weatherstripping wherever you find leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You may equate insulation with keeping your house warm in the winter, but it also helps 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 simpler. While you’re at it, make sure your ducts are properly sealed to avoid air leaks and insulate them if needed. If your air ducts are leaking, that means you are losing valuable heated or cooled air. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more important if they are placed 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 low as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its usual 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 impacting your comfort. Install a programmable thermostat. Sure, thermostats can be adjusted by hand, but programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency simpler. 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 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 extra money in energy. Don’t place lamps, TV sets or other heat-generating appliances by your thermostat. This practice can cause your air conditioner to run longer than required because your thermostat senses heat from these appliances and assumes 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 matching with your home-comfort needs, call Point Heating & Cooling for an evaluation. 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 could be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to make a regular maintenance appointment, call Point Heating & Cooling at 715-345-1979 and our experts can help. If it’s more convenient, schedule your appointment online with our online scheduler.