Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Home’s Energy Efficiency 04/20/2017Regularly having your HVAC system cleaned and tuned up may boost its performance and help lower your energy costs because an HVAC system that’s taken care of can use much less energy than a system that is not. But what else should you do? We have more simple steps you can perform to increase your Longview home’s energy efficiency. Seal any leaks around your windows and doors. Apply caulk or weatherstripping in the spots you notice leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You likely equate insulation with keeping your house warm in the winter, but it also provides benefits in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is constantly seeking cooler places—like your home. Be 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, confirm your ducts are properly sealed to stop air leaks and insulate them if needed. If the ducts are leaking, you are losing valuable heated or cooled air. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more important if they are located in the attic, a vented crawlspace or any other unconditioned area. Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible throughout the summer. To help possibly keep your cooling bill cut down, keep the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures as little as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save nearly 10% a year on heating and cooling by easily turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its typical 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 affecting your comfort. Install a programmable thermostat. Sure, thermostats can be adjusted physically, 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 decide 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 near your thermostat. This practice can cause your air conditioner to run longer than necessary 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 hinder 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 Ben Maines Air Conditioning, Inc. for an evaluation. 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 more questions about how to improve your home’s energy efficiency, think it may be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to make a regular maintenance appointment, call Ben Maines Air Conditioning, Inc. at 903-758-0701 and our experts are ready to help. If it’s simpler, schedule your appointment online utilizing our online scheduler.