Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Homes Energy Efficiency Posted April 20, 2017 A HVAC system that’s well-maintained can use lower energy amounts than one that is not. Consistently having your HVAC system serviced can improve performance and help save you money in electric costs. Thankfully, there’s even more you can do to increase your house’s energy efficiency. Here are some easy actions you can take take to improve your West Columbia home. Close up any leaks around your windows and doors. Even tiny cracks can let heat or cool air leave your house. Add caulk or weatherstripping anywhere you find leaks. Use your windows. If it’s cooler after dark, turn off your AC and open the windows. When you wake up, shut the windows and your curtains or blinds to trap the cooler air and to avoid heat gain through the windows. Insulate your walls and attic. Insulation is usually connected to keeping your home comfortable in the colder months, but it also helps you out in the summer. Heat is constantly seeking cooler locations—like your rooms. Sufficient insulation prevents heat from moving through your attic and walls. Have your ducts cleaned. Air proceeds easier through your home when your ducts are clear. That makes your air conditioner’s job simpler. Check to see your ducts are correctly sealed to prevent air leaks and insulate them if necessary. You’re losing valuable heated or cooled air if your ducts have leaks. Tightly sealing and insulating ducts is even more vital if they are in the attic, a vented crawlspace or any other unconditioned space. Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency simple. You can automatically adjust your temperature when you’re out and about or when you’re sleeping while avoiding discomfort because your home’s temperature will get back 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 think it will cool your home at a faster rate, but the time it takes to cool won’t be changed. You’ll just cost yourself more in energy. Make 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 close as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10% each year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its average 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 negatively affecting your comfort. Limit heat-generating appliances near your thermostat. If you’re leaving lamps, tvs or other heat generating appliances around your thermostat, it can cause your air conditioner to run for too long 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 Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. for an evaluation. It might 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 Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. at 803-265-4208. Our team 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.