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 can improve its performance and help lower your energy costs because an HVAC system that’s properly maintained can use much less energy than a system that is not. But what else should you do? We’ve got more manageable steps you can perform to improve your Augusta home’s energy efficiency. Seal the leaks around your windows and doors. Add caulk or weatherstripping wherever you find leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You may equate insulation with keeping your house warm throughout the winter, but it also provides benefits in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is constantly seeking cooler places—like your home. Make sure 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, confirm your ducts are properly sealed to avoid air leaks and insulate them if needed. If your air ducts are leaking, you are losing valuable heated or cooled air. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more necessary if they are situated in the attic, a vented crawlspace or any other unconditioned area. Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. To help possibly keep your cooling bill cut down, keep the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures as low 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 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 by hand, but programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency much easier. You can automatically regulate 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 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 extra money in energy. Don’t place lamps, TV sets or other heat-generating appliances near your thermostat. This practice can make 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 prevent heat gain through the windows. Invest in new, energy-efficient equipment. If your HVAC equipment is more than 10 years old or not matching with your home-comfort needs, call McCune Heating & Cooling for an evaluation. 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 improve your home’s energy efficiency, think it might be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to arrange a regular maintenance appointment, call McCune Heating & Cooling at 316-733-9123 and our experts can help. If it’s simpler, schedule your appointment online utilizing our online scheduler.