Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Home’s Energy Efficiency 04/20/2017Routinely having your HVAC system cleaned and tuned up may boost its performance and help reduce your costs because an HVAC system that’s properly maintained can use considerably less energy than an HVAC system that is not. But what else should you do? We’ve got more easy steps you can take to improve your Fort Worth home’s energy efficiency. Seal any leaks around your windows and doors. Put on caulk or weatherstripping at the locations you find leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You might equate insulation with keeping your indoor space warm throughout the winter, but it also helps in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is steadily seeking cooler places—like your home. Be sure you have sufficient insulation to keep the heat from flowing 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, ensure 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 placed in the attic, a vented crawlspace or any other unconditioned area. Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible during the summer. To help possibly keep your cooling bill smaller, 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 just turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its normal 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 so easy. 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 extra money in energy. Don’t place lamps, TV sets or other heat-generating appliances close to your thermostat. This practice can cause your air conditioner to run longer than needed because your thermostat senses heat from these appliances and thinks 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 Breeze Air and Heat for an assessment. 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 some questions about how to increase your home’s energy efficiency, think it might be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to schedule a regular maintenance appointment, call Breeze Air and Heat at 817-864-1021 and our experts are ready to help. If it’s more convenient, schedule your appointment online using our online scheduler.