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 fewer resources than one that is not. Regularly having your HVAC system serviced can improve productivity and help save you money in utility costs. Luckily, there’s even more you can do to increase your house’s energy efficiency. Here are some easy things you can do take to improve your Lake Forest home. Seal any leaks around your windows and doors. Even miniscule gaps 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. When you wake up, shut the windows and your curtains or blinds to keep the cooler air in and to avoid heat gain through the windows. Insulate your walls and attic. Insulation is generally associated with keeping your home cozy in the winter, but it also helps you out in the summer. Heat is constantly seeking cooler places—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 easier. Ensure your ducts are properly sealed to prevent air leaks and insulate them if needed. You’re losing valuable heated or cooled air if your ducts have leaks. Correctly sealing and insulating ducts is even more crucial if they are in the attic, a vented crawlspace or any other unconditioned space. Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency simple. You can automatically move your temperature when you’re out and about 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. It might seem it will cool your home at a faster rate, but the time it takes to cool won’t be changed. You’ll only cost yourself more in energy. Make 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% 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 changing your comfort. Limit heat-generating appliances near your thermostat. If you’re placing lamps, tvs or other heat generating appliances close to 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 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. for an assessment. 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 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. at 949-204-0859. 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.