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 could improve its performance and help lower your energy costs because an HVAC system that’s well-maintained can use much less energy than an HVAC system that is not. But what else can you do? Here are more easy steps you can do to increase your Zelienople home’s energy efficiency. Seal all leaks around your windows and doors. Add caulk or weatherstripping at the locations you notice 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. Ensure you have adequate 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 smoother. While you’re at it, ensure your ducts are properly sealed to prevent air leaks and insulate them if needed. If the ducts are leaking, that means 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 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 just turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its usual 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 disturbing your comfort. Install a programmable thermostat. Sure, thermostats can be adjusted physically, but programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency so easy. 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 arrive home or wake up. If you opt 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 avoid 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 Knoechel Heating Company for an assessment. 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 improve 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 Knoechel Heating Company at 724-452-6280 and our experts are ready to help. If it’s more convenient, schedule your appointment online using our online scheduler.