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 elevate its performance and help reduce your costs because an HVAC system that’s properly maintained can use considerably less energy than one that is not. But what else could you do? We have more easy steps you can perform to increase your Odessa home’s energy efficiency. Seal any leaks around your windows and doors. Put on caulk or weatherstripping in the spots you notice leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You may 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 continually seeking cooler places—like your home. Be sure you have enough 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, make sure your ducts are properly sealed to stop air leaks and insulate them if needed. If they are leaking, you are losing valuable heated or cooled air. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more critical if they are located 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 little as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling by easily 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 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 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 come 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 by your thermostat. This practice can force your air conditioner to run longer than needed because your thermostat senses heat from these appliances and assumes 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 matching with your home-comfort needs, call Redhawk Heating & Air Conditioning for an assessment. It may be time to replace it with ENERGY STAR®-qualified equipment that can reduce 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 could be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to make a regular maintenance appointment, call Redhawk Heating & Air Conditioning at 432-333-2208 and our experts are ready to help. If it’s easier, schedule your appointment online using our online scheduler.