Habitually having your HVAC system cleaned and tuned up may improve its performance and help lower your energy costs because an HVAC system that’s taken care of can use much less energy than an HVAC system that is not. But what else can you do? Here are more simple steps you can perform to increase your Columbia home’s energy efficiency.
- Seal any leaks around your windows and doors. Apply caulk or weatherstripping wherever you notice leaks.
- Insulate your walls and attic. You might equate insulation with keeping your home warm throughout the winter, but it also makes a difference in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is steadily seeking cooler places—like your home. Ensure you have adequate insulation to keep the heat from moving 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 simpler.
- While you’re at it, confirm your ducts are properly sealed to prevent air leaks and insulate them if needed. If the ducts are leaking, you are losing valuable heated or cooled air. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more important if they are situated in the attic, a vented crawlspace or any other unconditioned area.
- Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. To help possibly keep your cooling bill smaller, keep the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures as low as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling by just turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its typical 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 impacting your comfort.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Sure, thermostats can be adjusted manually, but programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency much easier. You can automatically regulate 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 more money in energy.
- Don’t place lamps, TV sets or other heat-generating appliances by your thermostat. This practice can cause your air conditioner to run longer than needed because your thermostat senses heat from these appliances and determines 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 Watts Electric & A/C Inc for an assessment. It may be time to replace it with ENERGY STAR®-qualified equipment that can cut your annual energy bill by more than $115, according to energystar.gov.
If you’ve got more questions about how to increase your home’s energy efficiency, think it could be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to arrange a regular maintenance appointment, call Watts Electric & A/C Inc at 601-736-7362 and our experts will help.