Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Homes Energy Efficiency Posted April 20, 2017 A HVAC system that’s taken care of can use much less energy than one that is not. Regularly having your HVAC system serviced can improve performance and help save you money in utility costs. Thankfully, there’s even more you can do to better your home’s energy efficiency. Here are some easy steps you can take to improve your Manassas home. Seal any leaks around your windows and doors. Even miniscule gaps can let heat or cool air disappear from your house. Add caulk or weatherstripping anywhere you find leaks. Use your windows. If it’s cooler at night, turn off your your HVAC system and open the windows. After you get up in the morning, shut the windows and your curtains or blinds to trap the cooler air and to stop heat gain through the windows. Insulate your walls and attic. Insulation is normally equated with keeping your home cozy in the cold season, but it also helps you out in the summer. Heat is constantly seeking cooler spaces—like your home. Sufficient insulation prevents heat from going through your attic and walls. Have your ducts cleaned. Air moves easier through your home when your ducts are open. That makes your air conditioner’s job simpler. Ensure your ducts are properly sealed to block air leaks and insulate them if needed. You’re losing valuable heated or cooled air if your ducts have leaks. Correctly sealing and insulating ducts is even more important if they are in the attic, a vented crawlspace or any other unconditioned room. Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency simple. You can automatically adjust your temperature when you’re not at home or when you’re sleeping while avoiding discomfort because your home’s temperature will return to normal when needed. If you choose not to use a programmable thermostat, avoid setting your thermostat at a lower-than-usual setting when you turn on your air conditioner. You might feel like it will cool your home at a faster rate, but the time it takes to cool won’t be impacted. You’ll end up costing yourself more in energy. Turn your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. To help keep your cooling bill inexpensive, make sure the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures is as little as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10% annually on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its normal setting for eight hours a day. Using a ceiling fan in conjunction with your air conditioner can let you raise your thermostat a little more. You can raise your setting by about 4°F without changing your comfort. Limit heat-generating appliances near your thermostat. If you’re leaving lamps, tvs or other heat generating appliances near your thermostat, it can cause your air conditioner to run for an extended time because it senses heat from these appliances and thinks your home needs cooling. 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 Air-Right Energy Design, Inc. for an check up. 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’re interested in improving your home’s energy efficiency, call Air-Right Energy Design, Inc. at 703-260-1148. Our experts can help you think about solutions, energy-efficient equipment or schedule a regular maintenance appointment. You can also schedule your appointment online using our online scheduler.