Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Homes Energy Efficiency Posted April 20, 2017 A HVAC system that’s taken care of can use lower energy amounts than one that is not. Routinely having your HVAC system serviced can improve performance and help save you money in utility costs. Thankfully, there’s even more you can do to increase your house’s energy efficiency. Here are some simple things you can do take to improve your Lexington home. Secure any leaks around your windows and doors. Even miniscule breaches can let heat or cool air disappear from your house. Add caulk or weatherstripping wherever you find leaks. Use your windows. If it’s cooler at night, turn off your AC and open the windows. In the morning, shut the windows and your curtains or blinds to catch the cooler air and to avoid heat gain through the windows. Insulate your walls and attic. Insulation is usually connected to keeping your home cozy in the winter, but it also helps you out in the warmer months. Heat is constantly working toward cooler places—like your home. Sufficient insulation keeps heat from passing through your attic and walls. Have your ducts cleaned. Air moves easier through your home when your ducts are uncluttered. That makes your air conditioner’s job easier. Make sure your ducts are correctly sealed to block air leaks and insulate them if necessary. You’re losing valuable heated or cooled air if your ducts have leaks. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more crucial if they are in the attic, a vented crawlspace or any other unconditioned room. Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency pretty much effortless. You can automatically change your temperature when you’re not at home or when you’re sleeping while avoiding discomfort because your home’s temperature will get back 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 impacted. You’ll end up costing yourself more in energy. Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. To help keep your cooling bill low, 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% a 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 together with your air conditioner can let you raise your thermostat a little more. You can raise your setting by about 4°F without impacting your comfort. Limit heat-generating appliances near your thermostat. If you’re putting lamps, tvs or other heat generating appliances near your thermostat, it can cause your air conditioner to run for too long 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 James Heating & A/C, Inc for an assessment. 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’re interested in improving your home’s energy efficiency, call James Heating & A/C, Inc at 336-853-6070. 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.