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 may improve its performance and help reduce your costs because an HVAC system that’s properly maintained can use a great deal less energy than an HVAC system that is not. But what else could you do? We’ve got more easy steps you can take to increase your West Palm Beach home’s energy efficiency. Seal any leaks around your windows and doors. Apply caulk or weatherstripping wherever you notice leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You might equate insulation with keeping your home warm throughout the winter, but it also provides benefits in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is continually seeking cooler places—like your home. Make sure you have adequate insulation to keep the heat from moving 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 your air ducts are leaking, that means you are losing valuable heated or cooled air. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more necessary if they are situated 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 cut down, 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 just turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its typical 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 disturbing your comfort. Install a programmable thermostat. Sure, thermostats can be adjusted manually, but programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency much easier. 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 come home or wake up. If you opt 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 by your thermostat. This practice can cause your air conditioner to run longer than necessary 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 avoid heat gain through the windows. Invest in new, energy-efficient equipment. If your HVAC equipment is more than 10 years old or not meeting with your home-comfort needs, call Hopkins Air Conditioning, 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’ve got some 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 Hopkins Air Conditioning, Inc. at 561-656-4255 and our experts can help. If it’s more convenient, schedule your appointment online using our online scheduler.