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. Consistently having your HVAC system serviced can improve efficiency and help save you money in energy costs. Fortunately, there’s even more you can do to boost your property’s energy efficiency. Here are some easy steps you can take to improve your New Castle home. Secure any leaks around your windows and doors. Even small breaches can let heat or cool air leave your house. Add caulk or weatherstripping anywhere 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 prevent heat gain through the windows. Insulate your walls and attic. Insulation is normally equated with keeping your home cozy in the winter, but it also helps you out in the warmer months. Heat is constantly seeking cooler spaces—like your house. Sufficient insulation prevents heat from passing through your attic and walls. Have your ducts cleaned. Air moves easier through your home when your ducts are clear. That makes your air conditioner’s job less complicated. Check to see your ducts are correctly sealed to stop air leaks and insulate them if needed. You’re losing valuable heated or cooled air if your ducts have leaks. Tightly sealing and insulating ducts is even more crucial 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 change 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 colder-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 changed. 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 down, 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 leaving lamps, tvs or other heat generating appliances around 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 Central Heating & Plumbing for an evaluation. It might be time to replace it with ENERGY STAR®-qualified equipment that can lower your annual energy bill by more than $115, according to energystar.gov. If you’re interested in improving your home’s energy efficiency, call Central Heating & Plumbing at 724-401-1843. Our pros 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.