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 elevate its performance and help save you money because an HVAC system that’s well-maintained can use much less energy than a system that is not. But what else should you do? We have more easy steps you can do to improve your Lincoln home’s energy efficiency. Seal all leaks around your windows and doors. Add caulk or weatherstripping in the spots you find leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You might equate insulation with keeping your home warm throughout 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 adequate 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 simpler. 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, you’re losing valuable heated or cooled air. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more critical 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 little as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by easily turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its normal 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 disturbing 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 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 arrive 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 make your air conditioner to run longer than needed because your thermostat senses heat from these appliances and determines 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 keeping up with your home-comfort needs, call AW Heating & 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 some questions about how to enhance your home’s energy efficiency, think it could be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to schedule a regular maintenance appointment, call AW Heating & Air Conditioning at 402-318-5351 and our experts can help.