Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Homes Energy Efficiency Posted April 20, 2017 Routinely having your HVAC system cleaned and tuned up could improve its performance and help save you money because an HVAC system that’s well-maintained can use much less energy than one that is not. But what else could you do? We’ve got more manageable steps you can do to revamp your Ridgedale and the Branson area home’s energy efficiency. Seal all leaks around your windows and doors. Put on caulk or weatherstripping in the spots you find leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You likely equate insulation with keeping your home warm during the winter, but it also makes a difference in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is constantly seeking cooler places—like your home. Be sure you have enough 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 prevent air leaks and insulate them if needed. If they are leaking, that means you are losing valuable heated or cooled air. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more critical if they are placed 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 lower, keep the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures as low as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to 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 utilize 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 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 arrive 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 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 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 avoid 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 Branson HVAC, LLC for a review. It may 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’ve got some questions about how to increase your home’s energy efficiency, think it could be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to schedule a regular maintenance appointment, call Branson HVAC, LLC at 417-319-1779 and our experts will help.