Take These Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Your Homes Energy Efficiency Posted April 20, 2017 Regularly having your HVAC system cleaned and tuned up can elevate its performance and help lower your energy costs because an HVAC system that’s well-maintained can use a great deal less energy than an HVAC system that is not. But what else can you do? We have more easy steps you can do to improve your Waterloo home’s energy efficiency. Seal any leaks around your windows and doors. Apply caulk or weatherstripping in the spots you find leaks. Insulate your walls and attic. You may equate insulation with keeping your house warm throughout the winter, but it also provides benefits in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is steadily seeking cooler places—like your home. Be sure you have adequate insulation to keep the heat from flowing 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, make sure your ducts are properly sealed to avoid air leaks and insulate them if needed. If the ducts are leaking, that means you are losing valuable heated or cooled air. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more critical if they are placed 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 small as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling by easily turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its normal 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 affecting 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 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 choose 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 cause your air conditioner to run longer than required 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 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 Cronin-Verheul Heating & A/C Ltd for an evaluation. 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 more questions about how to increase your home’s energy efficiency, think it may be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to arrange a regular maintenance appointment, call Cronin-Verheul Heating & A/C Ltd at 519-664-0600 and our experts will help.