Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Homes Energy Efficiency Posted April 20, 2017 Habitually having your HVAC system cleaned and tuned up may elevate its performance and help lower your energy 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 can you do? We have more simple steps you can take to improve your Naples home’s energy efficiency. Seal the leaks around your windows and doors. Apply caulk or weatherstripping in the spots you find leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You likely equate insulation with keeping your indoor space warm during the winter, but it also provides benefits in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is continually seeking cooler places—like your home. Be sure you have sufficient 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 the ducts are leaking, you’re losing valuable heated or cooled air. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more necessary 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 smaller, 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 simply turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its typical setting for 8 hours a day. If you turn on 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 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 get home or wake up. 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. 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 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 hinder 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 Speedy Air Conditioning for a review. It may 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’ve got additional questions about how to enhance your home’s energy efficiency, think it may be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to schedule a regular maintenance appointment, call Speedy Air Conditioning at 239-244-3439 and our experts can help.