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 could improve its performance and help lower your energy costs because an HVAC system that’s properly maintained can use considerably less energy than an HVAC system that is not. But what else could you do? Here are more easy steps you can do to increase your Belton home’s energy efficiency. Seal all leaks around your windows and doors. Put on caulk or weatherstripping in the spots you detect leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You likely equate insulation with keeping your house warm in the winter, but it also makes a difference in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is steadily seeking cooler places—like your home. Make 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 simpler. While you’re at it, ensure your ducts are properly sealed to prevent air leaks and insulate them if needed. If your air 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 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 lower, 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 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 impacting 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 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 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 extra money in energy. Don’t place lamps, TV sets or other heat-generating appliances near your thermostat. This practice can force your air conditioner to run longer than required 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 keeping up with your home-comfort needs, call Bell Air Conditioning Inc. 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 additional questions about how to increase your home’s energy efficiency, think it may be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to make a regular maintenance appointment, call Bell Air Conditioning Inc. at 254-939-1141 and our experts can help. If it’s simpler, schedule your appointment online with our online scheduler.