Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Homes Energy Efficiency Posted April 20, 2017 Habitually having your HVAC system cleaned and tuned up can boost its performance and help lower your energy costs because an HVAC system that’s well-maintained can use considerably less energy than an HVAC system that is not. But what else can you do? Here are more manageable steps you can perform to revamp your Newton home’s energy efficiency. Seal any leaks around your windows and doors. Add caulk or weatherstripping in the spots you notice leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You likely equate insulation with keeping your home warm in the winter, but it also helps in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is steadily seeking cooler places—like your home. Make sure you have sufficient insulation to keep the heat from shifting 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 easier. While you’re at it, confirm your ducts are properly sealed to prevent air leaks and insulate them if needed. If they are leaking, you’re 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 during 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 simply turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its typical setting for 8 hours a day. If you turn on 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 physically, but programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency simpler. 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 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 by your thermostat. This practice can make your air conditioner to run longer than necessary 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 avoid heat gain through the windows. Invest in new, energy-efficient equipment. If your HVAC equipment is more than 10 years old or not meeting with your home-comfort needs, call Brookwood 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 might be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to arrange a regular maintenance appointment, call Brookwood Inc at 641-316-9803 and our experts can help.