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 fewer resources than one that is not. Consistently having your HVAC system serviced can improve performance and help save you money in energy costs. Fortunately, there’s even more you can do to better your home’s energy efficiency. Here are some simple things you can do take to improve your Bakersfield home. Secure any leaks around your windows and doors. Even miniscule breaches can let heat or cool air escape your house. Add caulk or weatherstripping wherever you find leaks. Use your windows. If it’s cooler at night, turn off your air conditioning and open the windows. After you get up in the morning, shut the windows and your curtains or blinds to keep the cooler air in and to prevent heat gain through the windows. Insulate your walls and attic. Insulation is usually associated with keeping your home warm in the cold season, but it also helps you out in the warmer season. Heat is constantly working toward cooler locations—like your home. Sufficient insulation keeps heat from moving 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 less complicated. Check to see your ducts are accurately sealed to stop air leaks and insulate them if needed. You’re losing valuable heated or cooled air if your ducts have leaks. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more important 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 move 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 feel like it will cool your home quicker, 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 down, 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% a year 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 partnership 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 Hillcrest Air Conditioning & Plumbing 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’re interested in improving your home’s energy efficiency, call Hillcrest Air Conditioning & Plumbing at 661-437-3499. 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.