Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Homes Energy Efficiency Posted April 20, 2017 A HVAC system that’s well-maintained can use much less energy than one that is not. Routinely having your HVAC system serviced can improve performance and help save you money in energy costs. Luckily, there’s even more you can do to better your home’s energy efficiency. Here are some simple things you can do take to improve your Alliance home. Close up any leaks around your windows and doors. Even miniscule breaches can let heat or cool air disappear from your house. Add caulk or weatherstripping every place you find leaks. Use your windows. If it’s cooler at night, turn off your air conditioning and open the windows. After you get up in the morning, shut the windows and your curtains or blinds to trap the cooler air and to prevent heat gain through the windows. Insulate your walls and attic. Insulation is normally associated with keeping your home warm in the cold season, but it also helps you out in the warmer months. Heat is constantly seeking cooler locations—like your rooms. Sufficient insulation stops heat from going through your attic and walls. Have your ducts cleaned. Air flows easier through your home when your ducts are uncluttered. That makes your air conditioner’s job less complicated. Ensure your ducts are correctly sealed to prevent air leaks and insulate them if needed. You’re losing valuable heated or cooled air if your ducts have leaks. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more vital if they are in the attic, a vented crawlspace or any other unconditioned area. Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency easy. You can automatically move your temperature when you’re away from home or when you’re sleeping while avoiding discomfort because your home’s temperature will go to normal when needed. If you choose not to use a programmable thermostat, avoid setting your thermostat at a lower-than-usual setting when you turn on your air conditioner. You might feel like it will cool your home at a faster rate, but the time it takes to cool won’t be affected. You’ll just cost yourself more in energy. Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. To help keep your cooling bill inexpensive, make sure the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures is as close as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10% each year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its average setting for eight hours a day. Using a ceiling fan in conjunction with your air conditioner can let you raise your thermostat a little more. You can raise your setting by about 4°F without negatively affecting your comfort. Limit heat-generating appliances near your thermostat. If you’re leaving lamps, tvs or other heat generating appliances close to your thermostat, it can cause your air conditioner to run longer than needed because it senses heat from these appliances and thinks your home needs cooling. 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 Jack's Heating, Cooling, Stoves & Fireplaces for an evaluation. It could be time to replace it with ENERGY STAR®-qualified equipment that can cut your annual energy bill by more than $115, according to energystar.gov. If you’re interested in improving your home’s energy efficiency, call Jack's Heating, Cooling, Stoves & Fireplaces at 308-646-3827. Our experts can help you think about solutions, energy-efficient equipment or schedule a regular maintenance appointment. You can also schedule your appointment online using our online scheduler.